“So, who are you? Where is my wife? Who is she with?” Ekechukwu was running mad. He could not believe what he was hearing. “Well, you know my price,” Nzekwe replied. “There is no chief, right? You are the same person that we picked up in front of my house, right?” “It does not matter, Chief. What matters is that you get to the root of this.” “I want to know where my wife is and who she is with!!!” “If you would text me your phone number, then I will send you my account number, sir. Your number does not show when you call.”
“Ekechukwu thought about it for a moment. “I will call you back,” he said and hung up. He called Chinyere immediately. She did not take her call. She was underneath Idoko moaning furiously. “I don’t care who it is, darling. All I want now is you…just you, my dear,” Chinyere said, almost rhythmically as she savored every thrust that Idoko made. Ekechukwu called repeatedly, but there was no answer.
Ekechukwu texted his phone number to Nzekwe. He could not smother his flaming curiosity. Nzekwe sent his account number to him. He called him back immediately. “You will be receiving two hundred and fifty thousand naira in your account in the morning. You get the rest as soon as I have all the information I want.” “You will get all you want once I have my money…all of it, not half.” Reluctantly, Ekechukwu acquiesced.
By morning, his account was credited with half a million naira. “So, can I get all the information now?” “Yes, you will. Your wife just went out with her man who happens to be Rev. Fr. Idoko of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Umunze. He has been sleeping with your wife. I have extracted the video I made of the two of them last night. I will send that to you if you will send me your email address.”
“Father Idoko?” Ekechukwu said. He was utterly discombobulated. “If you want to do something about it or see for yourself, you should take a flight down to Asaba before nightfall. Your wife is going to a wild party in Asaba with the priest tonight.” Ekechukwu took a chattered flight to Asaba, where Nzekwe met him. He watched all the video recordings with Nzekwe with tears racing down his face and anger stabbing relentlessly at his poor heart. It happened that he knew some of Nzekwe’s relative. Nzekwe’s family was from a neighboring village.
“Now is the time, darling!” Chinyere said. Her eyes were burning with excitement. She was literally quivering with indescribable anticipation. The compound, which belonged to a party-loving multi-millionaire, was buzzing with life. Girls in bikinis and guys in boxers reveled as if there was no tomorrow. Chinyere set down her glass of wine by the pool. There were a few couples already in the pool. There were all latched onto each other as though they had been glued together. From the looks on their faces, one did not need to contact a fortune teller to work out what was going on underneath the water. There were hardly any lights around the pool.
“I am going in, baby!” Idoko said as he got in the pool. He helped Chinyere in. Eagerly, they kissed and then, their hands went underneath the water for a while. Then, Idoko yanked off Chinyere’s bikini top, pushing it aside so he could gain more unfettered access to her bosom. Chinyere’s eyes closed with her head leaning into Idoko’s shoulder. She moaned gently. They could hear all couples moaning too. “I have fantasized this in my head forever, darling. I am glad we are finally doing this,” Chinyere whispered. “Yes, my dear. You are amazing. I think my brains are going to burst open, honey,” she said to him.
Then, out of the blues, the rhythmic moaning of revelers in the pool away from the music on the other side of the massive estate was broken by a loud bang. “Kpo! Kpo! Kpo!” Gun shots rang out. Chinyere’s eyes snapped open. Before she could react, Idoko was staggering backwards with blood spewing out of his back. Quickly, the pool turned red. Other couples in the pool sprang out of the water. Revelers dashed frenziedly in all directions, with some diving into the main building in search of refuge. It happened so fast. No one saw the shooter. “God! Idoko!!!” Chinyere shouted. “Someone please call the police. We need to take him to hospital!!!” Chinyere shouted. Her eyes scanned the area. She was afraid that the shooter would gun her down too. She scurried out of the pool and made a mad dash for the hedges to the right of the pool.
“I did not know you were going to shoot him!” Nzekwe complained. “None of your business. You did your job and I did mine. You must never tell anyone what happened here tonight. If you do, I will come after you and your whole family!” Ekechukwu warned him. They had quickly sneaked out of the compound amid chaos. Ekechukwu quickly took his chattered flight back to Lagos before dawn. “I will wire an additional three hundred thousand naira into your account. Travel abroad – go to Malaysia, Europe or Canada; whatever works for you. If you need more money, please let me know. You mustn’t talk about tonight to any living soul, okay?” Nzekwe nodded. He was battling a tsunami of guilt. Much as he found Idoko and Chinyere disgusting, he did not want anyone’s blood on his hands. He returned to Onitsha and began to think of what to do with the money.
“You have to leave this place now!” said Mirabel, Chinyere’s friend. “Who could have done this?” Chinyere asked through tears. “This is not the time to ask questions. You do not want to talk to the police. You’d have to explain who he is you know…and who you are! Get out now, Chinyere!” Chinyere got dressed and drove off before the police arrived, as did most of the party attendees. Mirabel and her date left too.
“How was your trip?” Chinyere asked Ekechukwu. “It was great, honey. I missed you a lot though,” he said. “I missed you too,” Chinyere replied. Her eyes were red from crying. She had been checking the news for any news of Idoko. It would be hard for the police to identify him. He had nothing on him to indicate who he was.
As Chinyere brought dinner to the dining table for Ekechukwu, there was a knock on the door. “Dange, is everything okay?” Ekechukwu asked. “Sir, the police are here. They claim they want to see madam.” “Okay, send them in. I wonder what they are here for. Honey, the police are here looking for you. Is everything okay? Did you kill someone while I was gone?” “Of course not,” she replied, but her face betrayed her fear. Her eyes were filled with worry. Her heart was pounding ferociously. “Madam, we have reason to believe that you were in Asaba on Saturday night and one Rev. Fr. Idoko with whom you attended the part was shot dead,” the police sergeant explained. Ekechukwu stared at Chinyere who stared back, trying to fake surprise, but her fears were paralyzing her. “Me? At a party? You must have this all wrong, officer.”
“Madam, we have obtained CCTV images of you leaving the hotel in Onitsha for Asaba in the company of Fr. Idoko. We have CCTV images from the hotel of two of you from previous visits. We understand the Rev Father was the priest in your local church.” “Yes…yes…he is…he was. I don’t understand what is going on. I was not at the party.” “We have eye witnesses who are willing to testify that you came to the party with this priest. Did you hire assassins to kill him? It looks like you were in an…you know…you were having an affair with him. Perhaps you were fed up with him and decided to end it silently, so that your husband here would not find out.”
Chinyere continued to plead her innocence. Ekechukwu feigned shock. He urged the police to take Chinyere away, promising to get his lawyer on the matter. Weeks later, the police unearthed further incriminating evidence against Chinyere. They found love letters she had written to Idoko, which he had stashed in a file cabinet at the parish house. The village was agog with the news of Idoko’s death and his affair with Chinyere.
Ekechukwu conducted DNA test on his children and neither of them were his child. Chinyere was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging. Ekechukwu sat in his living room the night after Chinyere was convicted. He was in tears. He wiped them each time the house help or his security came into the living room. Pain…untold, gored mercilessly at him. In his anger, he had called the police to inform them of the murder of Idoko. He told them to talk the hotel staff, as well as revealing Idoko’s full identity to them.
What do I do with these children – a two-year-old and a four-year-old? He pondered his dilemma. They have done nothing wrong. My wife simply brought this upon them…and me. Should I send them to an orphanage? Or keep them? Should I send them to Idoko’s family? God, what do I do? I don’t even feel guilty for killing the priest!
Chinyere sat in his cell crying uncontrollably. She had done all she could to regain her freedom, but the court was not convinced. Everything pointed at her. She had been found guilty of killing Fr. Idoko. Ekechukwu had told her before her verdict that he found out their children were not his. That was no surprise to her. She had known all along that they were Idoko’s. She wiped her face to clear her blurred vision. If only I could have stopped myself, she thought, wishing she could break out of the claustrophobic cell.
One year later, after several unsuccessful appeals, Chinyere was killed by hanging. She had asked God for forgiveness repeatedly before facing a gruesome death. Ekechukwu sent Chinyere’s children, as he referred to them after the DNA tests, to Idoko’s family. They reluctantly accepted them. He, Ekechukwu began life anew, keeping his secret about Idoko’s murder to himself.
“I never really took you seriously then,” Elochukwu said as she planted a kiss on Nzekwe’s lips. “I had a massive crush on you for years, Elo. It had to be you or nothing,” Nzekwe declared. They were in their apartment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nzekwe had managed to squeeze a lot more money out of Ekechukwu. With that, he funded a master’s program for himself and Elochukwu. They planned on remaining in Malaysia or relocating to Europe after their studies. Nzekwe had proposed to Elochukwu and she had accepted. They hoped to get married after their studies…after they might have landed decent jobs. Nzekwe, just like Ekechukwu, found himself wrestling with his conscience every now and again.
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