cushions and pressed it into herself. ‘Who and who were aware of this
it entirely a secret.’
Alex’s chest rose and fell
in a deep breath. ‘She refused to have the abortion.’
allowed her keep the baby?’
the hospital for heart problems already. I was so scared.’
what happened next?’
Grace. ‘Without her knowledge?’
He looked at Grace and
looked away quickly. A drop of tear ran down his cheek and he quickly wiped it
juice. She started to ble…bleed an hour later. It continued and—’
the bathroom all along. She…she—’His shoulders heaved up and down. He looked at
Grace. Tears were now flowing down his face. He shook his head. ‘She didn’t
Alex dropped his face into
his hands and started to cry. Crying looked more pitiful when done by men.
Grace stared at him, her
heart pounding from multiple emotions.
Alex said under relentless sobbing sounds. ‘I was so scared.’ His tear-soaked
face glistened under the light from the bulbs.
of the night in Dapo’s car. We…we threw the body into a river.’
saliva hung across his mouth when he opened it to speak again. ‘Her body was
discovered in the morning. People called it an accident, that she drowned. Some
Goose pimples walked round
Grace’s skin. She covered her face with two hands and tried to breathe. She
turned to Alex. ‘Wait, did this happen sometime in 2004?’
over the news.’
Deep remorse has reconfigured his features. ‘Baby, please.’ He held her hand.
‘Baby, please don’t leave me.’
and shook her head as if in pity.
She pulled away from him
and walked away.
the floor, croaking with tears.
Grace has worked in
Communications long enough to know how both to initiate communication and
hinder it. She was experienced in cutting off all unwanted interactions
whenever she needed to.
He did all he could but no
success. His calls were not answered. Emails were not replied. Online chats
Finally that evening, he
summoned up courage and drove to her apartment.
she didn’t open the door. Her car was parked in the compound and he also saw
her clothes on the laundry line. He was sure that she was home.
But that evening, as she
watched him totter away through her window, a small sense of forgiveness
penetrated Grace’s heart. She remembered her promise – that she would stand by
him through all times. Though she had made it without knowing what his crime
was, but she couldn’t easily take it back now.
She dropped to the
couch, folded herself up and began to think.
He was not a murderer, she
reasoned. Just a scared teenager, with an evil elder brother. But a body was
thrown into a river, a human body and for over eight years he kept quiet. Grace
heaved a deep sigh.
Finally, she came to a
conclusion. He would go and seek for atonement and she would stand by him all
through it. And then when everything was settled, they would live together.
It was late already so she
would visit him in the morning.
But that same evening, an
evil thought crept into Alex’s mind and he started seeking alternative ways to
find release for his torture. As he browsed the internet for the quickest way
to end one’s life, Grace read a book on Brand Management.
As Alex drove out that
night to go and look for junk, Grace turned off the light in her
room and lay down to sleep.
He was a Lagos boy, he knew
where to go. He also knew how expensive those things could be so he went along
with extra cash.
He also needed to buy
enough stamps of the smack. As the online article directed, if he
took four to five stamps before morning, his body would even forget to breathe
and it would all be over sooner than he’d realize it.
smooth and painless. The much-desired relief.