Excerpt From Episode 11
Grace hurried off leaving Maryam staring at her retreating back with deep suspicion in her eyes. How come nobody had mentioned murder before? That wasn’t what she had been told. Maryam knew for a certainty now that something fishy was definitely going on and whatever it was, she had to get to the bottom of it fast before anyone else got hurt.
To read episode 11, CLICK HERE
“Babe wait, things aren’t done like that, you just have to be patient, calm the fuck down, okay?” Maryam was trying to pacify an obviously agitated Chioma who was about to storm out of the room.
‘This ends now, I can’t take any more of it,’ Chioma flung back over her shoulder, her hand on the doorknob. Maryam had come to inform her about Grace’s blunder. “You heard it yourself, she said murder, first it was her sister picking up calls from the number that has been threatening me and her evil twin appears out of the blue to drop a bombshell that Matthew was murdered? Something sinister is going on and if they had anything to do with Matthew’s death, I swear I would make them pay for it even if it is the last thing I do.”
“We need to think rationally Chioma.” Maryam’s words fell to the empty winds as Chioma was already out of the door. Chioma rested limply against the door for a second as her resolved failed her. What was she going to do? She couldn’t just walk up to Grace and demand for an explanation.
The soft music coming from the living room was an indication that the party was coming to a halt as the music had now changed from the fast paced party mood to something slower and sensual. When she made her entrance once again, her eyes rested on her mother who was talking with Gift about something that they were both laughing about. Her eyes flitted to the wall clock standing just above their head on the mantelpiece and she watched as her mother hugged Gift before clinking on her glass of wine with a spoon she was holding to draw the remaining guests’ attention.
Chioma stood just at the entrance, not entering the living room fully as she listened to her mother thank everyone for coming at such a short notice. Her eyes kept darting to where Gift was standing with Grace and David.
‘Good evening all my friends…’ her mother began with a broad smile, “…invited friends and even my enemies,’ the last line had the guests laughing boisterously as if Mrs. Ugochukwu was some stand up comedienne who had just cracked some very witty joke and the scene sickened Chioma.
Pretenders. The lot of them! She was about to leave and return to her room when she heard her mother mention David’s name.
“I assume you all know this young man who makes me feel like I’m twenty again…’ the guest cheered with a loud clap in their obsequious manner even as Mrs. Ugochukwu also basked in the laughter and cheers. “I am pleased to inform you all that we are getting married. Following the events of the last few days, we have decided that life is too short to wait around for things to happen.”
Mrs. Beebs was the first to raise a hearty cheer which the rest soon took up as they crowded the newly engaged couple. Chioma couldn’t hide her shock and disapproval. Her mother was getting married to David? This had to be some sort of sick joke her mother was playing right?” Her eyes met her mother’s across the room and she glared at her mother furiously. Mrs. Ugochukwu turned away guiltily from Chioma’s burning eyes and beamed at another well-wisher instead.
“Seems like your fiancé is now another woman’s husband to be,” Grace’s voice held a hint of mockery. She was standing beside Gift and she could sense her sister’s silent fury. Grace couldn’t help feeling satisfied that Gift was just as shocked as Chioma when Mrs. Ugochukwu made the announcement about the engagement. “Is David getting engaged to her part of the plan too?” Grace taunted with a light laugh.
“Shut up!” Gift snapped and walked away from her sister, trying to control the mask of rage from showing on her face as she forced a smile and advanced towards a beaming David who was receiving his congratulations.
The announcement had guests staying for about another hour before the house was finally deserted leaving just Mrs. Ugochukwu, Chioma, David, Maryam, Gift and Grace in the house. Gift and Grace were also getting ready to take their leave when Maryam and Chioma warmly approached them.
“Isn’t it just terrible how old people dance?” Chioma said in a friendly tone directing her question at Grace.
Grace looked at her and didn’t need to be told that Chioma was trying to make amends for her earlier behaviour so she smiled back and answered, ‘Terrible,’ Grace said with a shake of her head. ‘”How does it feel knowing you are about to have a step daddy soon? Are you okay with that?” Grace couldn’t help taunting. She was trying to read Chioma’s expression just to be certain the look of disapproval she had seen on Mrs. Ugochukwu’s daughter’s face wasn’t just a reflection of the light.
Chioma’s expression didn’t change. ‘I am actually excited for them,’ she said calmly, ‘look, I know what you’re both doing, if you ever hurt my mother in any way, I would kill you and kill David again!’ Chioma didn’t wait for a reply as she turned on her heels with Maryam following like a lamb.
“Wait, there is something you need to know,” Gift’s voice stopped Chioma in her tracks. Chioma turned around and stared at Gift who continued unfazed “can you come to the office tomorrow? It’s about David.”
Chioma looked like she was going to say no but as if changing her mind, she nodded her head in affirmation. “I will be there. Maryam and I will come together.”
Maryam fidgeted beside her friend. She didn’t like the idea of being with Gift whom she knew was well aware of her escapade with David. “Whatever you have to say, why can’t you just say it now?” Maryam said, her eyes darting around frantically.
‘Trust me Maryam, you don’t want to hear it now,’ Gift said in a cool tone and taking Grace by the hand she pulled her sister along with her.
“What was that about?” Grace asked as they came out of the front door?
‘Let’s wait till morning, I am tired tonight.” Gift snapped back.
Grace said nothing, it was obvious Gift was still angry over the teasing and she wondered what big announcement it was her twin was about to make.
Read episode 13: CLICK HERE
Twenty is co-written with Akinwale Poshkid Akinyoade
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