Excerpt From Episode 8
“Mom, send me Gift’s number, I need to call her about something right now.” Her heart was beating wildly in her chest as she waited and she was unable to control her shaking fingers when her text message tone beeped to alert her of the message. With shaky fingers, she opened the message and stared in disbelief at the exact same number. It was the same number. What was going on? What game was Gift playing? How much did she know and what had she meant by that YOU MIGHT BE NEXT?
Read Episode 8, CLICK HERE
Maryam was quick, too quick to conclude that Gift was involved in Matthew’s death. The two sat on the bed with its rumpled sheets trying to think about the whole situation. Chioma felt like she was losing her mind. It was all confusing, really confusing. Someone was playing tricks on her and she couldn’t understand what was going on any more.
Apart from the obvious question about Gift, Maryam had her own fears too. She was scared that she was getting drawn into the picture. Should she tell Chioma about the text she herself had gotten? She had received a text message reading “Two wrongs don’t make a right. Birds of a feather flock together and will probably die together. Leave your own nose on your face.”
Sitting next to Chioma now, she didn’t think now was the right time to tell her about the text. Chioma was already disoriented and scared as things stood. Instead she found herself asking, “When are you going to tell me what Gift has against you?”
“Did you have an affair with David?” Chioma fired back.
The question hit Maryam hard. That wasn’t the sort of reply she had been expecting. She stood, her mouth opened in shock before she mustered all the feeling of indignation she could and stormed out of the room. She headed towards the bathroom and locked the door behind her, sitting on the floor. The coldness mirrored the coldness of her heart. How had Chioma found out? Were the tides turning against her? Had David said something he shouldn’t have? He couldn’t have, he stood to lose too much if Mrs. Ugochuwku knew of his infidelity. How then could Chioma have been able to place them together?
Chioma didn’t go after her. She sat on the bed, her face devoid of expression. Maryam’s anger spoke volumes. Did Maryam really think she was blind to the looks she kept stealing at David while they were at the hospital? Did she think she had been oblivious to the hungry looks she gave him when she thought no one was watching? David would sleep with anything in pants so it was only natural he would have taken advantage of Maryam and her silly notions of love. The house was as silent as a cemetery, both girls in their different worlds. After what seemed like an eternity, Maryam finally unlocked the door and without looking at Chioma headed for the exit.
“Call me when you’re ready to talk,” Chioma yelled at her retreating back. Maryam made no reply as she yanked open the door and almost bumped into Mrs. Ugochukwu.
“Are you leaving already?”
“Yes ma, I have to get home before by my parents begin to get worried,” she averted her gaze and hurried past Mrs. Ugochukwu. David was lying on a couch in the living room. She paused, unsure whether to go to him but she made up her mind and walked quickly towards the door, making her escape from the house that suddenly seemed to be choking the life out of her.
Maryam was the type of girl that always had a cheerful smile on her face but as she walked home now, her countenance was grave. All through the journey home, her mind kept racing in fear. How much did Chioma know? Was David sleeping with this Gift as well? Her phone rang several times but she paid no mind to it each time she saw Chioma’s name appear on the screen. When she got home, she headed straight for her room where she swallowed two pain killers and fell into a troubled sleep. It wasn’t until around 2:00pm that she woke up and she saw forty-five missed calls from Chioma. Then the text, from the same number that was unidentifiable. Her eyes scanned the words in fear, “The devil has been unleashed, be careful little cat. Curiosity always kills your kind.”
She dropped the phone on her bed and held her head in her hands. The aspirin she had swallowed suddenly seemed not to have worked as she felt a throbbing in her head again and she sighed as shame welled up inside her.
Maryam finally decided to return Chioma’s call after a second round of restless sleep and was already deciding to give up when she got no response when David’s voice suddenly came from the other end of the line.
“Saw your missed calls, thought…” Maryam’s voice trailed off as she realised it wasn’t Chioma at the other end.
“It’s David, Chioma is with her mom.”
“Why are you with her phone? What have you done to them you bastard? I swear if you have hurt them, I will make sure that…”
“Relax. They simply went out to get some things. What can a recuperating man like me do? Besides I mean them no harm. I miss you.” His voice was calm and held a hint of mockery in it.
“Save your missing for yourself. Chioma knows about us! You bloody pig! You tried raping her for cripes sake. Have you gone mad? This wasn’t part of the plan.”
“Relax, we are still in line. I got this trust me.”
“Does that include my getting threatened as well? What the hell is going on David?”
“Threatened?” There was confusion in his voice. “Who threatened you? What are you talking about?”
“Someone has been texting Chioma and it was Gift. What games are you playing David? What the freaking hell is going on. This wasn’t what I signed up for.”
“Shit. I got to go. They are back, I will explain later. But I need you to transfer me some money. I will be needing new clothes. I will explain everything later. I love you.” The line went dead before Maryam could say anything and she dropped the phone more confused than ever.
David didn’t know about who was texting her? For the first time, she wondered what she had gotten herself into as she stared at her own reflection in the mirror and felt the beginning of a headache again.
Read episode 10: CLICK HERE
Twenty is co-written with Michael Isaac
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