It was 6:00pm, an hour since Matthew had said he would be coming over when she had called him. Her agitation wouldn’t let her sit still by the window where she kept peeping, hoping for the welcomed sight of Matthew. Her restlessness could be seen as she stood up from her window watch and began to pace the room like a person in a trance. She would walk to the window and gaze out before walking the entire length of the room again, her lips moving with no words coming out; all her words were running through her dazed mind.
“What will I do with the body?” That was the million dollar question that kept haunting her mind as she waited for Matthew. She wasn’t bothered about the life of the twenty-six year old that she had just ended abruptly. There was no trace of remorse in her features as she stood over the lifeless body. She moved away from the body and huddled in a corner, drawing her knees close to her chin, letting her hair fall in loose waves about her face. Her twenty year old face had the confused expression most young people have in moments they are confronted with the harsh realities of adulthood and the fragility of childhood.
She checked her Rolex wristwatch which her mother had gifted her on the occasion of her twentieth birthday. Another two hours had passed and there was still no sign of Matthew. She stood up and stretched her leg which had gone numb from the lack of blood circulation due to her awkward sitting position. She had been sitting huddled that way for well over an hour. She went to the window and peered outside, it was pitch dark. Edmund Crescent was one of those places that activities halted quickly and by 8:00pm, everywhere was as silent as a graveyard.
Two hours later, she decided it was time to make a move with or without Matthew. With a strength that surprised her, she managed to drag the body to the backyard. The moon looked like it was brighter than usual that night sitting comfortably in the starless sky, its piercing glow seeming to mock her with its illuminating rays and she found herself shivering a bit as a gust of cold wind teased her skin.
“Lord I know I’ve killed a man, I don’t ask for your mercy, I ask for you to forgive this idiot and my only wish for him is to rot in hell.” These were the last words that accompanied the body to its shallow grave about two hours later and she made her way back into the house. Again, her thought went to Matthew. She felt too tired to try and call him again that night instead making a mental note to let him know her displeasure and disappointment at his not showing up despite her telling him how urgent it was she needed to see him. She headed for the kitchen where she sat down and lit a cigarette, inhaling the smoke to soother her frayed nerves. When she was done with her smoke, she stripped off her clothes and headed towards the bathroom, snagging a bottle of wine on her way out of the kitchen.
As she lied in the hot water bath, she listened to a radio presenter talk about relationships and family life on a late night radio show. She must have fallen asleep in the tub because she was suddenly startled back into consciousness by the shrill ring of the telephone. Still naked, she quickly ran into the kitchen to pick up the phone, her sleep befuddled mind concluding it must be Matthew calling this late.
“You better have a good explanation for standing me up last night Matthew,” she barked into the receiver but the voice at the other end startled her.
It wasn’t Matthew’s voice. “Hello am I on to Miss Ugochukwu please?” The voice waited for her to confirm her identity before continuing, “I’m Detective Chidi from Sabo Police Station.”
“Okay? How may I help you?”
“I am afraid I would need you to come in to identify a body. We think it might be someone you know.” She laughed derisively and hung up without another word. Two deaths in one night!
“What is Edmund Crescent turning into?” she yelled into the silent night.
Twenty is co-written by Akinwale Poshkid Akinyoade
Read Episode 2 HERE
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