I shut my eyes after the roll call had been taken, my cellmate shrugged angrily on seeing her wet mattress. She looked at me with bloodshot eyes, i watched in silence as her face softened with pity on seeing me. I bit my lower lips and said I’m ready
Here you go she said to me, her response drifted me back to what Jude had said to me when he made me a kite. The kite i made didn’t have much of a balance; it sagged in the air and didn’t soar high enough. I was about seven years old then, that was the first time he had spoken to me, i didn’t really like him ever since and i kept wondering why he made me the kite. We were age mates and he was quite better looking than the rest of his friends, he was fair and had curly hairs. We became closer after i flew the kite, we would then proceed to the back of the house looking for tins and cans to mash leaves and weeds in the thought of cooking. Our other friends soon gave us the nickname “Husband and Wife” we really did bond like husband and wife. There was a time he saw me playing hide and seek with another boy from the next neighbourhood, he cooked his can food and ate alone, he didn’t even carry my cockroach in his toy car. The next day i got a lot of bottle caps for him to use as tyres for his car, he smiled and collected them, we soon started talking and playing again. We grew really fond of each other, he got into college before me and was a year ahead of me; we still saw each other often until he graduated. He read accounting while i was reading history. He called me when he had gotten a job at the city’s accounting firm, he drove me around and we celebrated, he proposed to marry me that day, i accepted and we went on celebrating. I was filled with pure fun and saw our future crystal clear. Weeks after, i came to his office to see him, the receptionist phoned him to let him know i was around, i was directed to his office; he smiled on seeing me.
I haven’t seen you in a while and that’s why i came, i said
After the promotion, work became a little more different, i have to file and audit every report.
Well cut it because i don’t understand any of it, i said giggling lightly; he decided to introduce me to his boss, i was shocked on seeing him, “Kunle” i shouted aloud, and I hugged him. Jude stared in uttermost confusion,
You know each other? He asked puzzled
Yes, do you remember Kunle who used to come from next neighbourhood to play hide and seek with me and the girls?
Jude nodded in surprise; they hugged as if they were just meeting for the first time. We all went to a nearby restaurant for some catching up; we talked of our childhood, college and exchanged a whole lot of pleasantries.
Jude and i had laid a perfect foundation and there was no problem until Kunle started texting me repeatedly. I ignored the early signs, he started showing up at my place uninvited. I confronted him about it, he still kept stalking, i told Jude and he was furious i hadn’t told him earlier, he wanted to take drastic actions but i calmed him down and promised that no one was going to come between us. Days and weeks passed, i had just concluded my convocation; i got to my house to find Jude.
Why didn’t you come for my convocation? for Christ’s sake this was my big day, i said with feigned anger, he took a second pause and then broke down in tears, i was confused, i rushed at him, what’s the matter? I didn’t do it, he stammered, i didn’t change those figures, those weren’t my receipts.
He managed to say amidst tears. What figures? Which receipts? He narrated how some fraudulent receipts had been filed and had been traced back to him; i fell on the sofa close by, my heartbeat raced. There was a knock on the door, i shoddily opened it, Kunle and some policemen came in.
There he is, Kunle said pointing at Jude, Jude looked gloomily at me. I threw my scarf down and jumped on the mobile police that handcuffed my fiancée, the others restrained me.
I love you Stacy, Jude said as he bowed to enter the van, i wailed even louder.
“Now he’s out of sight, if he gets a good lawyer he could get a minimum of eleven years jail term, trust me you’ll get over him” kunle said and joined the van. My world was shattering; i laid on my bed sobbing hot bitter tears, i soon fell asleep. It was almost evening, i woke up with beaded perspiration on my forehead, i felt hungry but i had no appetite. I took a bath and drove off to the police station where Jude was being held.
You can’t see him madam, a sergeant said
I felt like crying but the tears weren’t forthcoming anymore. I turned to leave then i saw Kunle, he smiled mischievously at me and grabbed his suitcase to leave, i swung hastily at a nearby policeman and pulled out his gun, i ran to get a close range with Kunle, i vibrated as i fired at him, he fell lifeless to the ground. I breathed a sigh of relief and threw my hands up in the air. I felt sharp pains across my back and body, someone pulled me down, two policemen handcuffed me and took me away.
He deserved to die, i said after the presiding judge had given me a twenty-one years prison sentence. You stared at me for so long, i felt you had seen a ghost in the food, my cellmate said, she too was in her fifth year in prison, i smiled lightly,
Goodnight she said and slept on the floor.
By Kelvin Samson from Nigeria