“Make sure you lock the car when you get everything out” Mrs Adamu said to Amin as they entered the house three of them joggling shopping bags and pushing them through the front door. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon, she took Salim to the mall to buy some school project materials and Amin went along with them out of boredom.
It had been a while since three of them went out together and Mrs Adamu took advantage of it, she took them to a photo studio nearby for another family photo to add to her collection and later to a Niger delta restaurant for launch; it was a wonderful day as intelligent funny conversation with her sons was everything to her.
She looked at her boys, Amin was already in the University of Lagos studying law and Salim was in the last year of secondary school “soon they would be men and out of the house” she thought and turned her face away to hide the tear slithering down her face.
“Mummy, we didn’t buy anything for Biola” Salim realized with disappointment when they were on their way home. “What do you suggest we buy for her?” Mrs Adamu asked with a smile on her face, Biola had quickly become part of their small family and they almost didn’t take a decision without involving her
“We can buy her a book, a diary… she said she needed a book to record her thoughts” Salim responded “she told you that?” Amin asked; he believed that he was the Biola expert in the house so he was surprised that Salim knew that she needed a book and he didn’t know. Besides he had secretly gotten her something, a beautiful pair of pearl earrings and he couldn’t wait to get home and give them to her.
He saved for a month to be able to afford the earrings, the first time he saw them he was too convinced that they were made for Biola; he strongly believed that Biola was the only girl in the world that could make the earrings more beautiful than they already were.
Lunch was over and they headed home not after stopping by a small book shop to buy a diary with the picture of a beautiful mermaid on the cover “this is the most beautiful depiction of a mermaid I have ever seen” Amin said as he admired the cover “just like Biola” Salim responded with a proud smile on his face while their mother paid for the book.
“Biola we are home!” Salim announced “shut up! What if she is sleeping… you want to wake her abi, oya go and arrange all the things we bought” Mrs Adamu burst his excited bubble and went to the kitchen to drink water; when Amin entered the house with the last batch of shopping bags he went straight to Biola’s room, after a couple of knocks and no answer he let himself in and what he saw broke his heart.
The room was empty, clothes, shoes and everything that belonged to Biola was gone “she is gone” Amin said to his mother who stood by the door frame “I know, she left us things” Mrs Adamu beckoned at Amin to follow her to the dining table where two beautifully packed packages laid; the third one was opened, it was Salim’s, he sat on a chair engrossed in the note Biola left him
“She left this for you” Mrs Adamu handed one of the packages to Amin who was still trying to understand why Biola would disappear without letting them know. They sat around the table reading the notes Biola left for them before looking at the gifts that came with the notes.
“Did we do anything wrong?” Salim asked with a voice of dismay “no we did not dear, it was time for her to leave and she did” Mrs Adamu patted her son on his back, she knew this day was coming because of all the kind of events that surrounded Biola since the day she arrived at their home but she didn’t think it was going to be so soon.
Salim was unable to hide his sadness, he rejected Mrs Adamu’s hug of comfort and went to his room leaving his gift on the table. “Are you okay?” Mrs Adamu asked Amin “yes I am” Amin successfully hid the void he felt in his heart from the absence of Biola, he and Biola talked often and had become fast friends; she was fun to talk with, very truthful and a natural beauty… the most beautiful girl he had ever seen and would ever see.
He knew that he wasn’t supposed to have feelings for her; after all, he was only a student, what could he offer her that other wealthy men couldn’t? Even though he knew Biola was not in any way materialistic he believed that a girl like her deserved a man who could give her the world. Yes Amin was not supposed to have feelings for Biola but he was dangerously in love with her.
The customer lounge of Grande bank had the setting of a beautiful and relaxing board room even though it was called otherwise; it was used by the VIP customers of the bank, people who had nothing less than a Billion invested with them. Biola walked in with a cup of coffee she made for herself in the executive kitchen, Mr Alkali had given her freedom to operate however she wanted at work which she did to an extent even though she rejected his constant proposal of an affair with him.
Biola loved her job so she did her work even better and more passionate than most but she used Mr Alkali’s freedom certificate to wean herself from the witch hunting hands of female senior managers in the office. She walked into the lounge, shut the door and sat down.
Chief and his lawyers were present “so where is the person you want me to sell to?” Chief asked in an unexpectedly calm manner but before Biola mentally praised him for his calm aura he flared up at the sight of Bright Chukwuemeka his arch nemesis “is this the person you want me to sell to? Never… let’s go” he howled and started towards the exit but Biola stopped him by reminding him that he was going to lose his company whether he sold it or not.
Chief did not understand how everything that she had done to him was not enough, he tried to offer something else even a billion naira in her account but she refused. “You asked for a solution, this is it, so sit down” she commanded. Chief could not believe that this young girl or any one at all could make him feel like a peasant; Biola commanded his respect and fear, he feared her and her chilling way of saying treacherous things in an ordinary manner.
A week before, Chief sat in his mansion alone thinking about his life and how he got to where he was; no longer the CEO of his own company, a man of power who felt power drifting away from him. A man of no fear who now felt fear creep up his core
“I now understand… I understand what you mean” he told Efe over the phone “understand what?” she asked “if someone rapes you… I will kill the person literally, I‘ll make sure that the person is dead” Chief replied. There was a long silence before he continued “so now what next? I don’t know what do” Chief sounded helpless and Efe felt sorry for him but didn’t show it
“You have to beg her, I don’t know if it will change anything but let her see how sorry you are, daddy you just have to beg her” “but is she really married to the Chief of Army Staff’s son?” Chief was still very curious about the marriage that happened without his knowledge
“No, I don’t think so, they are only dating” Efe replied “okay then… I will fly down tomorrow” Chief was ready to apologize and get Biola to stop her next plan because he realized that the more he tried to attack her the more destruction that befell him and his family, so he was done and ready to surrender.
Chief and Efe approached Biola in the hospital while she recovered from her comma and begged her for forgiveness; Chief who was honestly apologetic told her that he wanted it all to be over and that he would do anything to gain her forgiveness, in a hurry to say the sentences Efe made him practise throughout the car ride to the hospital.
He called himself a monster that had finally come to terms with his wicked actions; when he was done Biola did not say anything, she looked at him and everybody in the room as if she didn’t know where she was “are you okay?” Seyi asked when he noticed the veil of gloom gradually covering her face but she was quiet afraid to speak and let Chief see the sad tree he planted in her soul months ago
“I think you should leave, she is not ready to speak to you” Seyi said to Chief “no it’s okay… it’s okay” Biola squeezed Seyi’s hand as a sign of gratitude and told him and Efe to leave so that she could speak to Chief alone. “I can see that you are sorry” she said “but you know the thing about apologies?” she observed the grim look on Chief’s face and continued “apologies don’t change the past… apologies won’t give me back my self-worth” “and revenge will?” Chief asked afraid of her next words
“yes…yes… revenge is pleasing, it is a way of defending my own honour, a way of teaching you a lesson that death would never teach you…” Biola replied her face like that of an ice goddess; she told him that she was going to forgive him on the condition that he sold his company. Chief did not know that he took something from Biola the day he raped her and she wanted to take something away from him in order to even consider forgiveness and that thing was his company, the company he treasured so much.