Click here to read Episode 5
Shade called me into her office shortly after that horrible incident with Ranti. She wanted us to celebrate. We had pulled off a deal worth 90 million naira. I must confess that project was the most tasking job I’d ever been involved in.
She was pouring me a glass of champagne when Francis entered the office.
‘Francis, come and join us. We’re celebrating.’ Shade said.
Francis shook his head, a broad grin on his face. ‘Enjoy yourselves Ladies. I was just on my way out and thought to stop by and say, ‘We did it!’
‘Yes, we did it!’ Shade shouted in excitement. I chuckled, opening the box of pizza the M.D had ordered. Who says No to barbecue chicken pizza?
‘Good night.’ Francis said and left the office
As we ate in silence, Shade suddenly wiped her oily palms on a hand towel and reached for the side of my face that was still swollen even though I’d tried so hard to conceal it.
‘When are you going to get away from that monster.’
I sighed and said nothing.
‘Why are you still with him for goodness sake. You are not married to him and you are going through pains like this. Even abused women are running for their lives talk less of a single lady like you. Babe, leave that guy abeg.’
I chewed in silence.
‘Are you an only child?’ Shade asked, stretching out on the settee.
I shook my head. ‘I have a brother and a sister.’
‘I wish I had a sibling. Sometimes it feels lonely being the only child.’
I smiled. ‘At least you have a dad who always calls you. I never got to talk to my dad since he left us when I was six. It’s lonely not having beautiful memories of your father.’
Shade refilled her glass. ‘I can’t imagine not having my dad around. He is everything to me. But I understand. That’s life. We don’t always get what we want.’
‘Why don’t you have a picture of your father in this office.’
Shade chuckled. ‘You mean you’ve not seen the picture of the CEO here? Tinuke, you need glasses. Look around.’
I frowned, my eyes moving slowly from one side of the office to the other. It stopped at the picture frame hanging close to a mural. I stood up and walked over to the picture frame.
‘I can’t believe I’m just seeing this.’
Shade chuckled. ‘If you are looking for any form of resemblance, you won’t find it there. I took after my mum.’
I know Shade’s father. Yes I know him! Where did I meet him?
I tried to pull up any memories that connected me with him but nothing came forth. Yet, deep in my heart, I knew we had met. I tried again. Nothing. Shade was on a call and it gave me time to reach into my deepest memories to fish out where in my past we had met.
I know him, I repeated. A deep sense of love filled my heart.
‘Tinuke, my dad wants to speak with you.’
I moved away from the picture and took the phone from her. The voice on the other line was cheerful and warm.
‘I’m so happy to finally speak to you sir.’
‘Shade has said so much about you and what you’ve done for the company. I can’t wait to meet you in person.’
‘Thank you sir.’ I said quietly.
‘I have a handsome reward for you when I come around. Keep up the good job.’
I handed the phone back to Shade. She laughed so heartily and I felt a tingle of sadness. Yetunde said she was on a search for my father. Would she find him? What if he still didn’t want anything to do with us?
When Shade ended the call, I told her I had to leave. I had completely forgotten that I’d asked the carpenter to change the locks of the entrance door. It was when I checked my phone that I saw the calls I’d missed.
‘Tinuke, you can move in with me. I live alone in a duplex and many times it gets boring. I’ll be glad to have you around.’
‘I’ll think about it.’ I said and hugged her.
‘Goodnight.’ Shade said.
When I left her office, I called the carpenter but he didn’t pick my calls. If he had changed the door locks, why didn’t he bring the keys to my office? Was it possible that he didn’t show up at the house at all?
I drove into the compound and was surprised to find the light in the living room turned on. Two reasons crossed my mind. The carpenter was still around waiting for me. I forgot to turn off the light before going to work.
I dialed his number again as I entered the house. He picked up this time.
‘Tobi, sorry jare. I had a busy day and missed your calls. Why is the door to my living room opened and where are my new keys?’
‘Aunty Tinuke, I gave the keys to your husband.’
‘Your husband Aunty. The one I always see in the house when I come for repairs. He said you told him to collect the keys.’
‘Oh my God! Tobi! Okay thank you. Come to my office tomorrow morning for your balance.’
I stood in the living room, exasperated. Ranti walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray of hot pepper soup. He smiled at me as he placed the tray on the dining table.
‘Welcome darling.’ He smiled, sauntering towards me. I couldn’t hide my frustration this time. He kissed me.
‘Hello Ranti.’ I muttered.
He took my bag and placed it gently on the chair. Then he led me to the dinning room. On the table were scented candles. Cheese cakes. Lasagne. Sausage casserole. Smoked salmon. Shrimps. Meat loaf muffins.
I stared at the different meals on the table. Ranti had gone for meals he knew I couldn’t resist.
He rest his hands on my shoulders. ‘I made the pepper soup, but I ordered the rest.’
I chuckled. ‘Of course I know you ordered them.’
He laughed and tickled me. I pulled his hand away suddenly annoyed that he was feeling comfortable with me. How did he expect me to quickly forget everything he’d done to me
‘Tinuke, I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you in the past. Please forgive me.’
I gazed into his eyes. There were tears again. Was he really repentant?
‘I love you so much.’ He kissed my palm.
Again, I believed him. I know I shouldn’t but I did. I settled down and began to munch at the meals before me. Ranti laughed and shared some funny stories with me. It was like old times again. I deliberately pushed the fear aside and enjoyed every moment with him. When we were done eating, he chased me to the room and took me to bed.
Ranti’s monstrous nature resurfaced again when I got out of the shower and changed into a nightie Shade had bought for me on my birthday. He was staring at the ceiling. I sat on the bed wondering what was on his mind.
‘Tinuke, don’t ever try what you did today.’ He pulled a bunch of keys from the bedside drawer and got out two keys before handling me the rest.
I sighed. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘Let me show you something.’ He opened his phone and scrolled to his picture gallery. He tapped on a video.
‘Ranti, What is this?’
I felt like a blow had landed on my face. Ranti took a video of us when we had sex? He blurred out his face but mine was visible. Anger burnt in my eyes
‘Why would you do something like that?’
He grinned. ‘Because I knew you were going to try to break the bond we have.’
‘Ranti, please, if you really love me, you will delete that video.’
‘It is my love for you that made me do it in the first place.’ The smile disappeared from his face. ‘Don’t ever think of leaving me. I’ll post this on Youtube and on any social media platform I can lay my hands on. I will pay for ads to have this video fly and when I’m done spreading this, trust me, every man will despise you. Baby, I have nothing to lose. You will lose everything.’
Ranti tuck the phone under his pillow and faced the wall. I was trembling where I sat. When I thought my troubles were going to end, they only got worse. I stood up and went to the living room. For hours I sat there in the darkness, crying.
God, I didn’t bargain for this. Are you even there?
I had no one to talk to. I felt lonely and frustrated. I wanted a drink badly. I found my way to the kitchen cabinet but it was empty. The bottles were gone. Nothing was in the fridge either except for some cans of Hollandia. I took two cans out and returned to the living room.
I felt a nudge to call Patrick. It was late already and I decided against it. I scrolled to my WhatsApp page, praying Tola would be online and I’d be able to talk to her.
I felt ashamed of myself. Will she even listen to me? Ranti made me convince Tola that I had moved to Lakowe so she’d stop visiting. Whenever she called to find out my new place of residence, I had an excuse ready. She stopped calling me at some point.
Tola was not online. I scrolled down to Patrick’s contact.
I hesitated, wondering if it was proper to chat him up at midnight. What will I say? He might not even respond.
My heart pumped. He was responding.
Tinuke how are you?
Help me Patrick. I’m dying! I am fine and you?
I’m okay. About going to bed. Why are you still awake?
I closed my eyes for a moment, pushing back the pain already making its way up to my throat.
Please don’t stop praying for me.
I have never stopped praying for you Tinuke. You want me to call you?
No, please don’t. I can’t talk right now.
Tinuke, Romans 10:13. For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Thank you Patrick.
The bedroom door opened. The light went on. Ranti was standing at the entrance.
‘What are you doing alone in the dark. Come to the room now.’
Like a dog answering his master’s call, I stood up and followed Ranti into the room. He pulled my head to his chest and wrapped his hand around my back. Then he began to pat my head gently. I knew right there that I was never going to get away from him.
Ranti wasn’t travelling anymore. I left him at home and got back to meet him either staring at his laptop or cooking in the kitchen. It got me bothered. What happened to his chains of businesses? Why wasn’t he going for trips to meet clients? I feared that something was wrong.
‘Can I borrow some money from you?’ Ranti asked one day as I got ready for work.
I didn’t even ask him how much he wanted. I was more than glad to give him considering all he had done for me. I scribbled down the details he needed and left for work.
5p.m. I was working on a report when my phone beeped. Alert. I went to my inbox. My heart fainted.
Bank alert. 1.000 naira left.
Ranti emptied my account? I was boiling hot as I dialed his number. It rang continuously. Shade entered my office. She was about to say something but stopped when she saw the look on my face.
‘Come to my office.’
I stood up and followed her out. I didn’t even wait for her to close her door before exploding.
‘Ranti withrew all my money. Who does that? 1.2 million naira Shade. He transferred everything to another account. What is wrong with this man?’
‘You gave him your token and all the information he needed for that transfer right?’
‘How was I supposed to know he would clear my account. Shade I have 1.000 naira left in that account. Even the 1k, I cannot withdraw.’
‘Tinuke, calm down.’
I stood there, vibrating. ‘Oh my God. This man is driving me crazy!’ I let out a breath. ‘I know I should keep my personal affairs away from the office. I’m sorry about this.’
‘It’s fine. We are friends, aren’t we?’
I nodded. ‘Thank you. Was there something you wanted to talk to me about?’
‘Yeah. We’ll be leaving for Canada in a couple of months. The trip is going to span for two weeks. There is an assignment dad wants you to be involved in. All expenses will be covered.’
My eyes widened. I covered my mouth in surprise. ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe this.’
‘So we have to get the processes ready asap. By the way, you are going to spend the weekend with me and I will not take a No for an answer.’
‘I’ll love to. But I need to pick up some things from the house first.’
‘That’s fine. I’ll give you the address. Tinuke, If you want salary advance, I could ask the accountant to send cash to you.’
‘I still have some money in my other account. Thank you Shade.’
Before the close of work, Yetunde called to tell me she was close to Oshodi and wanted me to pick her up. Plans with Shade disrupted. I called Yetunde on my way out of the office.
‘Why didn’t you tell me you were coming today. I’d have left the island earlier. This is not Akure where I can just brisk in and out whenever I want.’
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t expect the interview to be so soon. I just saw the mail early this morning.’
‘I’ll gist you when we see.’
The traffic to Oshodi was crazy. For three hours, I was stuck on the third mainland bridge. When I finally picked Yetunde up from the park, it was already dark. Oshodi brought back memories. The men with their fairly used wares, the fish seller who had pushed me while I was trying to move my box to a more comfortable position, the hullabaloo that frequented the motor parks. How time flies. It’s been three years.
Yetunde was bringing me up to date on the factory affairs when Ranti walked into my apartment. His face turned white when he saw Yetunde sitting beside me on the sofa. He had warned me never to bring in any visitor.
For a moment, our eyes lock and all I could read from his expression was, ‘How dare you disobey my order?’ My anger met his. I was still boiling from the 1.2million naira emptied from my account. But I knew I couldn’t confront him in front of my sister.
‘Ranti, meet my sister, Yetunde.’
‘I know you.’ Yetunde said, staring at him. Ranti recoiled. His eyes were alert. I knew his brain was too.
He smiled. ‘This is a small world. We may have met somewhere.’
‘You finished from FUTA?’ Yetunde asked.
Obviously, he wasn’t comfortable with the line of conversation. ‘Yes, that was a while ago. You attended FUTA too?’
My sister nodded, her gaze fixed on Ranti.
‘Nice meeting you.’ Ranti said and faced me. ‘I’ll see you some other time.’
When he left, Yetunde jumped to her feet. ‘What is this guy doing in your house?’
‘Calm down babe. He’s just a friend.’
Yetunde clapped her hand. ‘I can’t believe this. Do you remember my friend, Gloria. The one we went to see after she gave birth.’
‘I know Gloria. She had to drop out of school when she became pregnant.’
‘This was the guy that ruined her life. He was always coming to our school. He’d take us out for lunch and leave us lots of gifts. Gloria fell for him. He left her when she became pregnant. She even discovered he was married.’
I sat there, pretending I knew nothing about Ranti. I remember Yetunde’s friend very well. I had even cursed the man who had put her in the family way.
‘Please stay away from that man. Don’t let him come here at all. I think he has mental problem.’
‘Yetunde, stay with me here in Lagos, please.’
‘If I go for this interview and I get the job, I’ll definitely stay here with you. But I have to return after the interview tomorrow. Mum needs me at the factory.’
‘One week, please. There is food. TV. A.C. You’ll be very comfortable here. Please, don’t go tomorrow.’
‘I have to, Tinuke. Mum needs me.’
I sighed. ‘Okay o. How is your search going?’
‘I’m still on it. I know very soon, I’ll find Dad.’
Yetunde showed me a picture that ruined my evening. Kunle was standing before an altar in a suit that looked more like a coat. Beside him was a light skinned lady with two dark lines drawn across her cheeks. For several seconds, I stared at the picture.
‘Kunle is married?’
‘Yes o. Last weekend. You know the lady right?’
I nodded. ‘She was in our fellowship back on campus. Although she didn’t return for her HND. What does she do for a living?’
‘I don’t know.’
I wanted to take my eyes off the picture but I couldn’t. This was supposed to be my wedding. But here I was stuck with a maniac not knowing if I’d ever be free. I felt very sad. Yetunde got up and said she was going to bed. I told her I’d join her soon.
I couldn’t get Kunle out of my head. I remembered the day he proposed after we returned from the fellowship’s annual evangelism outreach. It was the happiest day of my life. I couldn’t sleep well that night out of much excitement.
Those days in school, Kunle never said he loved me, still I read those words in his eyes. He could take out his eyes for me but you see those three words, ‘I love you,’ they never crossed his lips. He was hard and tough, always wanting things done his way, yet I’d gladly chose him over Ranti.
I entered the room, exhausted. Yetunde was sitting on the bed, flipping through a magazine.
‘I thought you said you wanted to sleep.’
Yetunde raised her head ‘I was waiting for you. Tinuke, I saw a box full of male clothes in your wardrobe.’
My eyes widened. I had completely forgotten about Ranti’s box.
I went to the wardrobe, figuring out what lie to tell. I turned to my sister. ‘How do I say this. Ok. I didn’t rent this apartment. It belongs to the company where I work and one of the staff lived here before he was transferred to another branch. He is yet to pick up the rest of his things.’
My sister sighed in relief. ‘I was scared. The first person that came to my mind was Ranti.’
I pushed her head. ‘How can you allow such horrible thoughts into your head.’
Yetunde laughed and left for the bathroom.
‘Your house is so cool. When last did I take a shower bath?’
I laughed. ‘You see why you have to leave Akure and move in here with me.’
If only when I made that statement, I knew that my days in that apartment was almost over and that my world was about to collapse.
I got to work on Monday in high spirit. Over the weekend, I had completed an analysis of a financial report for Shade and I was really happy. But somewhere in my heart, I was afraid that something would ruin my joy that day. I pushed aside the negative thought and dropped my bag on my table before heading for Shade’s office.
Cynthia, Shade’s secretary stopped me on my way to the M.D’s office.
‘I don’t think you should go in there. One lady came into the office this morning with the M.D. She was shouting and ranting right from the staircase.’
‘Okay. Can you tell her I checked up on her concerning the report for Branco Oil.’
‘I’ll do that.’
As I turned to go, the door opened and a tall, slender woman, came out. Her lanterned-jaw, high cheekbones, thick lips gave her a very masculine look. She stopped when she saw me.
‘Yes. This face. I saw the pictures. You are the woman Ranti has been frolicking with.’
I was speechless. Shade stood behind her, helpless. This was no doubt the billionaire’s daughter, Monica.
She hissed. ‘of course, you have what he wants. big butts. Fine skin. Pretty face.’ She turned sharply to Shade. ‘I swear Shade, if you don’t get this slut out of this company, I’m going to ask my father to pull out every damn project we have with your company.’
She marched towards the door and stopped to face me.
‘Listen, you whore. The apartment you live in belongs to my father. It is part of the properties your master stole from me. I want you out of that house. And tell Ranti, I’m back. I’m going to make his life a living hell.’
She let her gaze rest on Shade. ‘I’m not kidding. I want her out of here.’
She slammed the door and was gone. I still couldn’t move. Was this a dream? What exactly was going on? Shade gestured that I join her in her office. She began to pace around.
‘I didn’t know Monica had divorced her husband a while ago. Nobody told me about it. I thought they were still married when he came to my office asking me to take you in. That fool played me.’
‘But she just gave birth not too long ago. How come?’
Shade stopped and held the edge of her table. ‘Obviously, the child is for someone else.’
‘But my friends said, the child looks like the father.’
‘I don’t know and I don’t care about the complicated life of spoilt brats like her.’ She slumped into her chair.
‘I came to tell you that the report is ready.’ I pushed the document towards her. She didn’t look at it.
‘Tinuke, You are a very diligent and hardworking woman. You’ve been a great friend too. But I have to let you go.’
I stood up. ‘What!’
‘Listen, don’t take this personally. It’s a hard decision for me. Before Monica handed over the financial investments of one of her father’s businesses to us, we were running at a loss. Somehow, some other persons got to the big clients before we did. Among all the branches my father opened, I was bringing in the least profit. It was so bad that Dad had to send Francis to help me. I wanted to make my father proud and I was able to achieve that when we had that deal with Monica.’
I had to convince Shade to keep me. I belonged here. ‘Shade, I get that you don’t want to lose the big funds from Monica’s father. But look at how far we have gone in two years. We can do well without them. We just need to know the right buttons to press.’
Shade shook her head. ‘You can’t understand how much I want to please my father. I don’t like this job Tinuke. Corporate finance has never been my thing. Do you know how my heart cries every time I watch outreaches organized by some of these NGOs? Paperwork get me crazy. It depresses me.
‘Tinuke, From the time I was a teenager, I’ve dreamt of starting an orphanage. I want to go from one country to another, helping to distribute relief materials. But I can’t do what I want. I’m the only child and my father needs me here.’ Her eyes were filled with tears as she spoke. ‘I need Monica’s financial investments if I have to keep this branch running. They leave and I’m back to square 1.’
Tears had welled up in my eyes too. I’ve lost my job. I had no house anymore. I had no future. I was finished.
‘it’s okay Shade. I understand.’
‘I’ll ask the accountant to pay your full salary into your account.’
‘I don’t need your money. I’ll be fine.’
‘Tinuke.’ Shade called softly but I hurried out knowing if I stayed any longer, I’d break down.
For several minutes, I drove aimlessly on the island. Where will I start from? No house. No job. Maybe this car will be taken away from me too. It was time to return to Akure with my tail between my legs.
I drove towards the mainland with no destination in mind. I sped down the express, entered a street and got out of a corner. I drove for what seemed like hours.
I saw a bar ahead and the only thing I thought of was getting drunk to death. I didn’t want to wake up from this nightmare again.
I flung my heels to the back seat and pulled out a pair of loafers from under my seat before climbing out of the car.
Two men with pot-bellies sat at a table outside the bar. They kept staring at me as I walked in. It was obvious that I didn’t look anything like a regular customer. This was evidenced by the way one of the waitresses in a skimpy dress that revealed flabby thighs rushed to attend to me. She was looking at my hair and I wondered if she could tell I’d gotten the human hair for almost 200k. She looked from my shoes to my dress and then she grinned.
‘Aunty what do you want?’
‘Just give me beer.’ I settled into one of the plastic chairs. She brought a big bottle of chilled stout and placed it before me. I raised the bottle to my mouth and took a long gulp and by the time I’d look down, five more bottles were before me. The waitress was sure helping me get drunk faster.
Can I ever block out the pain of the abuse I suffered from Ranti? Can I forget the look of disgust on Monica’s face when she stood right in the secretary’s office. Can I forgive Shade for throwing me out of a job I’d poured myself into?
I opened the second bottle.
For what? I don’t deserve Patrick’s attention. He is too good. I’m filthy.
As I raised the bottle to my lips, someone snatched it out of my hand. It was one of the pot-bellied men I’d seen outside.
‘Give me the bottle!’ I shouted.
‘Lady, this is not the solution.’
‘How’s that your business?’ My tears were mixed with mucus slipping out of my nose. The man pulled out a clean white handkerchief from his pocket and gave it to me. I blew my nose into it.
The waitress who had served me the drinks was clearly annoyed. ‘Oga Chinedu, leave the girl na? Make she drink if she want.’
He turned towards her. ‘Shut up! Wetin concern you. You wicked. You see woman like this enter your bar dey cry like small pickin, you come put five bottles of big stout for her front. You no well.’
The waitress hissed and returned to the inner room, murmuring. ‘Nonsense. Person go just come spoil person business. I go tell my Oga when him come.’
Oga Chinedu faced me. ‘Who should I call to pick you up.’
I blew my nose into the handkerchief again. ‘Patrick.’
He took my iphone from the table, but was suddenly lost on how to operate it. I helped him out and scrolled down my contact list to Patrick’s number. As he dialed, I reached for the bottle again but he grabbed my hand. Frustrated, I placed my head on the table.
‘Hello, Mr Patrick.’ Oga Chinedu said, in a thick ibo accent. ‘Abeg come to ipaja and pick this fine girl up. She is in a beer parlour.’
Chinedu tapped me. ‘He want to speak to you.’
Patrick sounded hysterical. ‘Tinuke! What are you doing in ipaja. How did you get there?’
‘Patrick, just come please.’
‘I’m actually at Abule Egba. I’ll be there in a jiffy. Give the phone to the man.’
Chinedu gave descriptions to the bar before giving me back the phone.
‘Wey that girl.’ Chinedu shouted. ‘Bring pepper soup come for her and come carry the nonsense wey you put for her front.’
Some of the men in the bar clapped and hailed Oga Chinedu. The pepper soup arrived and he insisted on feeding me. When I took a closer look at the man, I saw he was elderly, with white hair on his beards and some on his head. As he fed me, he told me jokes that made me laugh and I wondered if he had any daughter like me.
Patrick arrived just as the waitress cleared the second plate of pepper soup and the untouched drinks. I ran into his arms. He didn’t push me away or hurry me out of a place I knew Patrick would never be comfortable sitting in. When I pulled away, he walked towards Oga Chinedu and shook his hand.
‘Thank you so much for calling me.’
Oga Chinedu laughed. ‘Na my pickin. What else would I have done?’
I paid for the pepper soup and drink and when we got outside I took out all the cash in my wallet and gave Oga Chinedu. He rejected it reluctantly but took it when I pressed. His eyes widened when he saw the heavy one thousand notes I had placed in his palm.
We drove in silence. I wondered what Patrick thought about me. Maybe, I shouldn’t have bothered calling him.
‘You this girl, how did you get to ipaja? This is unbelievable.’
‘Where is your car?’ I asked.
‘I left it at my friend’s place. I figured you drove down here. I’ll pick it up tomorrow.’
‘I didn’t know you come around here.’
He smiled. ‘Iyana paja axis is my base. I’ve not been here for a while but when my name came out for the lecturing position in U.I, I had to come see my friend who works there.’
‘Oh I thought you were already working with a private university.’
‘I was just an adhoc staff. This is full time.’ He hesitated. ‘ So you want to tell me what happened?’ He glanced briefly at me. I sat up.
I started from the beginning. How I wanted to have my own car and a job. How I met Ranti the same day Patrick returned to church after his Ph.D.
I told him about the car, my job and the apartment Ranti got for me. I explained how he abused me anytime I refused to have sex with him. I narrated the incident that had happened that morning. I opened up completely to Patrick. I didn’t care if he’d hate me later. I just wanted to get it all out.
Patrick didn’t say anything for a while as we approached the island.
‘Have you made up your mind what you want to do?’
I let out a breath. ‘I have to return to Akure. That’s the only option now. There is nothing left for me here. But I want to book a hotel room for some days and pull myself together before that happens. Can you take me home so I can pick up my box before heading for the hotel?’
He gave me a quick glance. ‘Sure.’
He parked outside my apartment and followed me in. I shivered when I saw Ranti standing at the entrance, hands akimbo. I sensed he must have got wind of his wife’s arrival.
I was afraid of going inside. I locked hands with Patrick.
‘Hello Ranti.’ Patrick said. Ranti just maintained his gaze on me. There was no way I was going to enter that house.
‘Patrick, let’s go.’ I said and began to move away. Ranti grabbed my hand and pulled me to himself. His hand held my neck. As I struggled to get free, a blow landed on Ranti’s cheek. He let me go and charged at Patrick. Patrick dodged two blows as he moved towards the gate but Ranti was coming at him very fast.
I ran out to call for help and it was then I saw a car pull up in front of the house. Monica came out with two men. A police van stopped behind Monica’s car. I ran back into the house. A blow had just landed on Patrick’s face. I screamed.
‘That’s him!’ Monica shouted.
Ranti looked up and saw two men running towards him. He dashed for the apartment but the men reached him before he got to the door.
‘Patrick!’ Monica shouted and rushed to his side. He was bleeding from his nose. The men handcuffed Ranti’s wrists.
‘I’m fine.’ Patrick said, cleaning his nose with a hand towel Monica had given him.
Monica stood in front of Ranti. ‘Your days are over fool!’
Ranti spat on the floor. ‘Stupid woman. Still as ugly as I met you. You know it. Nobody wants you because you are ugly and shapeless. I was the man who accepted you for who you are. Even after the divorce, you called me to come and my strength birthed your third child.’
Monica flew into a rage. ‘You have no power over me anymore! I will see to it that you rut in jail!’
Ranti grinned. ‘You need me Monica, and no matter how much you deny it, I will forever be the man who gave you a reason to live.’
‘Take this mad man away and his whore!’
Two police officers moved quickly towards me. Patrick was alarmed.
‘Monica, she is with me.’
‘ I’m sorry I can’t let her go. Do you know how much funds Ranti embezzled from my father’s company? She is an accomplice. The car. The house. The job. I’m sorry but she has to go too.
Monica turned deaf ears to Patrick’s plea. I was led into the police van.
Patrick followed me to the police station. He held my hand as a police officer led me to the cell.
‘Tinuke, I’m going to get you out of this mess. I promise.’ His voice was shaky.
I nodded, tears trickling down my face. He let go of my hand. I followed the police officer down a corridor. We got to the female cell and he opened the gate. I entered. He locked the cell and left.
Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. John 12:24(MSG)
Episode 7 comes up next.