Meet Rita, an old school friend. Hang out “it was Ngozi”
Two days later hear from Karen who attended Rita’s burial. Said she died of poisoning.
Ngozi stays in same state with me
Ngozi was Rita’s roommate off camp four years back.
A year later, Ngozi killed her
Now I am left to be a detective to a crime I am not sure happened. Just on leads
It’s a beautiful rainy morning in August and I am in a cab in my way to work. The rains were so heavy the night before that I was tempted to call in sick just to stay in bed all day with hot coffee and the delectable banana bed I baked the day before.
But something in me said no and despite the laziness to be at work that morning, I dressed up, used my umbrella to prevent me from getting wet by the little droplets of rain falling from the sky as I walked from my apartment to the gate when my ride arrived.
“Is that not Rita? Stop stop sir” I said tapping on the cab drivers shoulder. By this time, it was drizzling in a volume higher than it was when I left home and here was Rita, an old friend whom I lost contact with after university standing by the road side as if waiting for a cab to pass by.
Winding down the car window pane, I called out to her. The excitement on her face could not be hidden as she rushed towards the car. “Come on in” I offered opening the door for her and opened my arms for a hug despite her being wet from the rain.
She hugged me after shying away anc complaining of her semi-drenched body. Of course I didn’t mind. It’s been a long long time since I saw her and without asking where she was going, I asked the cab driver to turn around and take me back to the house. “We need to get you out of those clothes”.
“Rita, what happened? You were no where to be found. I searched, I asked, nothing came out of my search. I even went to your family house but they said that your parents relocated to another state and no one seemed to have their new contact address. Rita it’s not fair at all, all your social media handles went dormant and after a while, I stopped searching. It seemed like you fell off the face of the earth.
“Hmm, I’m so sorry my darling but it’s a really long story” she replied. “No problem oo, you’d tell me this very long story, I have all the time in the world to listen, that reminds me, I have to call in sick at work today oo” I said while dialing the secretary’s number on my phone to say I am on my way to see a doctor” we both burst out laughing. “You have not changed one bit” Rita said. “I know right” and we laughed again.
I made sure Rita got a hot bath, a change of clothes and hot coffee with banana bread. She told me about how after school, she decided to act on her long time plan of eloping with her university boyfriend Jude and that’s why acting on the advice of Naomi, she cut us all off because the smaller the number of people involved, the more easy it is to conceal.
“But Rita, I know that your parents were vehemently against your relationship with Jude but was it that bad that you had to abandon everything and run, even at that what happened to our plans as friends? What?”
“You will joy understand darling but I want to let you know something, it was that bad. I overheard my dad giving orders to someone over the phone to kill Jude when I went home for Thanksgiving after convocation so yes, I had to let you all go to keep your safe from my family. The length they were willing to go to ensure that I don’t marry Jude was too much”
“Oh my darling, I am so sorry to had to go through all that” I said sadly but my face brightened immediately with the next question “soooooooo how’s Jude doing, hope he has been good to you”
“Jude has been all shades of amazing. Months after hiding in the country, he got a good paying job abroad and we left. My parents relocated back to the village as was the plan after my graduation. We’ve been abroad for five years. I flew in to handle some work issues. My husband and the kids are in Enugu waiting for me to round up here.
We’d go see my parents before we head back to the States. After all these years, I contacted them and asked for forgiveness. They asked me for forgiveness too and asked that I allow them see their grand children before they die after all, they miss their only child.
“I am so happy that you are happy” my phone rang and I rushed to the bedroom to get it. When I was on the phone, she opened the door and said “I need to go immediately, I’m running late for my meeting, thanks for the clothes by the way” she said. “Oh wait, let me see you off at least”. I put the call on hold and went out to her”
We got a cab outside and I hugged her goodbye after she took my card and promised to reach out before she leaves. Just before the car moved, she looked at me and said “it was Naomi, it was Naomi” and the car drove off.