We bring the Finale of Rekiya’s Tale today. It’s been a great ride, as always. Next week, we begin a new series, BURNT. The 2nd week we’re taking entries for the Baba Risi Illustration Competition is over. There’s just one more week. Keep the entries coming. If you still want to find out how to enter, read here https://tlsplace.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/baba-risis-court-boys-scouts/
Of the many things that can drive a person crazy, pain and love create the most normal looking crazy people. When it is love that is causing the deep pain a person feels, then the craziness becomes psychopathic. The scariest part is that they appear normal to us all.
What happened next shocked me to my bones. The image is indelibly etched in my mind’s eye forever and sometimes, I wake up, cold sweat lining my brows from nightmares containing it. Akudo knelt down over Ochuko, still facing us, with her gun trained on us, crying. None of us dared to move an inch.
“Now, we can be together, away from all these intruders,” she looked at me with burning hatred and snarled as she said intruders. I could guess that she wasn’t seeing me per say. She was personifying the five women who had babies for him with those words, travelling to each country she had been to in her mind. The tears continued to pour as she went on “my own, mine alone, no one else’s own,” she said as if the dead man would hear.
She kept at this for a couple of minutes, looking from him to me and back to him repeatedly. I really thought I was going to die. Then she lay down on him and put the gun to her head and said loud enough for us to hear “see you soon baby”. And then she pulled the trigger, blowing her own brains all over the cream colored wall. I screamed, losing sense of my environment for a few moments.
Dad was up on his feet, bounding over to where the bodies lay. Unlike Farida and I who had never seen a gun wound outside television, not to talk of splattered brains, he had fought in the civil war and so wasn’t quite as numb as we were. Farida kept saying “oh my God, oh my goodness,” to herself. Even though two dead people lay on my floor, I was somewhat glad I wasn’t one of them. Forget what they say, even if you were forming “I want to die, I don’t want to go on living” before, when you look death in the face and survive, you cannot but be grateful.
Suddenly, there was heavy knocking on the door again. We all froze. My eyes darted to the clock on the wall. It was well past twelve now and knowing what that door had brought my way in the past two hours, I was filled with dread as I wondered what else it was about to deliver. Another thought crept into my mind. Had any of the neighbors heard the gunshots and called the police? The police coming at this time would only make the nightmare worse. I did not move an inch, willing the knocking to go away. It stopped for a moment, only to start again with even more intensity.
“Farida, are you in there?” It was a familiar voice, and I heaved a sigh of relief. Farida practically flew to the door and flung it open. My boss stepped into the room, followed by a team of three familiar-looking policemen wielding AK47 rifles. They were his official escort on the payroll of our company. Was I glad they were the policemen here!
“What happened here?” he asked, directing the question to Farida, his eyes darting around the room, taking everything in. But before she could answer, I jumped in and asked him “what are you doing in my house, in the middle of the night, with fully armed policemen?”
Farida quickly spoke up “let me explain, Reks. When Akudo began to go berserk, I quickly dialed him,” she pointed at my boss, “and hoped he would pick up. Thank God she was so engrossed in her drama she didn’t notice, because it rang out the first time and I had to redial,” she said this while shooting him a ‘look’.
“Well, it was late in the night and I was sleeping. Your first call woke me up but rang out before I could pick up,” he explained.
“Thank God you sha eventually picked up and didn’t cut the call when you heard only noise.”
“When I picked up, I put you on speaker because I couldn’t be bothered to put the phone to my ears. Then I began to hear what was going on, and when the first gunshot came through, I knew there was trouble. I gathered the guys and we came rushing down as quickly as we could.”
I shook my head, first at Fafa. This girl was just something, she could think on her feet faster than a speeding bullet. In all honesty, I sure was glad she was at my side all through this. But I shook it more at my boss, our ‘knight in shining armor’. Rolling my eyes in spite of myself, I said “And you decided to knock on the door like that to announce your arrival? What if the shooters were still here with us holding us hostage? They would have…”
“Thank God they didn’t. And it’s not even a they, it’s a she.” she hushed me.
Fafa turned to him and pointed to the bodies “that’s Ochuko.”
“What? Same Ochuko? As in Ochuko Ochuko? I thought he was on his way to England to see his wife. Rekiya, what have you done?”
I eyed Farida. So she had gone to run mouth to oga about Ochuko’s travel trips abi. Love was seriously catching her. But that was for another time, I would deal with her. I brought my mind back to what my oga was saying and I could see his line of thought. I quickly corrected it “he was not on that plane. He simply lied about travelling to keep me away for as long as his wife was around.” I pointed to Akudo’s body over him.
“That is his wife?” he repeated the point.
“Yes, and she was the shooter. Blew his brains out, held us hostage and then killed herself right before our eyes. He had driven her over the edge with his philandering and she just snapped. Rekiya was the sixth lady Mr. Ochuko was doing this to. Or rather the sixth his wife was finding out about. The woman lost it.”
“Damn! This is some nasty piece of work. Crazy way to end it all men.” My boss exclaimed. He spoke as if he was addressing the dead Ochuko.
“We need to handle this so that it doesn’t become trouble. You know the way things like this can be, even when it’s obvious we all had nothing to do with the deaths.” Dad spoke for the first time since. His voice grated my being. I couldn’t believe how repulsive it was to me.
Fafa put an arm around my boss (felt weird seeing that actually, but I couldn’t care less at that time) and said “darling, what can your guys do for us? They’re the first officers on the scene.”
As if madam had pulled puppet strings, oga turned to the one who was probably the leader of the policemen and asked “Akuma, you can handle this, right?”
Akuma looked the bodies over with a trained eye. The gun was still firmly in the grip of the lady and it was obvious that she had killed herself. Their story seemed correct. But then, this was Nigeria. “oga, we will handle it, no wahala at all” he responded.
Handle ko, handle ni. That policeman was just running his mouth. It took me five months of running around, five million naira and oga pulling plenty strings for the case to go away. In the course of the investigation, the story leaked to bloggers and they had a field day, especially after that Ochuko and I wedding stunt Fafa and I pulled. Craze people, all these bloggers who would do any story for page hits, instead of leaving people who were suffering alone. The Lord will truncate their hustle.
Farida and my boss got married about eight months after those events. I was her chief bridesmaid. By that time, seeing them playing lovey-dovey had stopped feeling awkward. No one could have known, but at the wedding, I was hiding something.
You see, after all those events, I came to one conclusion about men. I did not need any man in my life. I never spoke a word to my father since that day, in spite of all his, Farida and her husband’s efforts. I simply didn’t want anything to do with any man. The moment the police issues around Ochuko and his wife’s death settled down, I told everyone I needed a vacation and took a trip. On that trip, I met a man, a Mexican who had come to settle in America. I professed love for him, lived with him and shagged him until I got pregnant. And then I disappeared from his life, totally untraceable because to him, I was Brenda from Zambia. I was a little less than a month pregnant when I escorted my best friend down the aisle as she married my boss. But no one but me knew. After the wedding, I disappeared, and had this fine baby, the finest thing I had ever laid my eyes on. That was four years ago. None of them knows where I live and I’m not about to tell you too, dear reader. I’m happy, loving my baby, enjoying life everyday. There’s only one little fact I would have loved to be different, but I cannot do anything about it, really. You see, while I was pregnant, I hoped and prayed and hoped and prayed. But the fates would mock me, because my baby turned out to be a boy in spite of all my prayers that it would be a girl. But I love him to death. He is the only man in my life now, and that’s exactly how it will be. Thank you for reading my tale.