It was 3: am and the sky was pitch-dark. Biola sat in the balcony drinking her third bottle of wine while smoking her second pack of cigarette. She could feel the darkness on her face like a facial mask only that it was not there to beautify her skin; it was there to help her hide the foul shade of her soul. It was so dark that she could see nothing, not even shadows or any sign of the roaring sea far down below.
She tried to visualize her late parents like she usually did in times of dismay but they were nowhere to be found. She tried and tried but her soul could not connect to any line of conversation with them; so she sat in silence listening to the sound of her racing heart “I deserve it… you deserve it” she said to herself.
She touched her face and winced from the pain she felt, she touched her arm and the picture of Umar throwing her across the kitchen made her cringe; she touched her face again and saw the vivid image of Umar’s fist coming at her repeatedly. She knew that this time the bruises would be impossible to cover, so she decided to skip work that day.
Biola sat in utter silence wondering what would happen if she went back to the convent. Will God accept her after everything she had done? Will he save her from the treacherous hands of Umar? Will he be able to forgive and change her ruthless soul? Her dream when she moved to Lagos was a job, a good husband and beautiful children but with everything that has happened she started to think that she should have forgiven Chief at the end of the day.
But even with that realization she was still unable to forgive Diana, she felt like she was going to die if she did not send her to the dessert to suffer for a time. She sighed when she saw that her last bottle of wine was finished. Biola suffered tremendously in the hands of Umar but she was not helpless and she knew it; she knew that to get away from him would mean to kill him and taking a life was not the kind of burden she was ready to carry, so she decided to stay with him and accept whatever he was going to do to her.
It was dawn so she went into their bedroom to lay beside him so that he would wake up with her by his side, her body could not take another beating. It was still weak from the pounding and abuse it received hours ago just because Umar’s friend brought her home. Umar trusted her but he did not trust any man around her, not even his father.
Biola was out of the house by seven o’clock sharp, she made Umar believe that she was going to work but she was going to see Efe. Efe had just moved into a small two bedroom apartment in Lekki Phase I; it was in a serviced apartment building with a pool, gym and security.
She used one room for storage and decorated the rest to her taste. The apartment was all her, it wasn’t her father’s and she felt happy about it; even though he paid for it, he did not pick it out neither did he decorate it. Her parents were in an island her father bought when she was eight but never went to; they went there to work out their issues and try to get over everything that had happened with Biola and the sale of the company.
Efe had just finished making breakfast when she heard a knock on her door, she rushed to the door thinking it was a delivery man she had been expecting days ago but it was Biola. They looked at each other both wondering what to say “good morning” Biola greeted but Efe said nothing to her; she knew that Biola had to do what she had to do but after seeing the grief her father experienced from the sale of his company to his enemy at an unfathomable price she wasn’t interested in any kind of relationship with Biola not even a hateful one
“What do you want?” Efe asked with a frown “can I come in?” Biola asked, Efe wanted to reject her but she let her in for the last time. Biola, aware that she was unwanted sat down and tried to make small talk by asking Efe about her health “fine” Efe responded sharply.
Efe offered her nothing and sat far away from her in the dining area. Biola read the writings on the wall clearly, so she went straight to the reason behind her visit by giving her a small envelope “what’s this?” Efe asked as she opened it hesitantly “it is my wedding invitation” Efe was the only person she was going to invite, she hoped that Efe would accept her invitation and come to support her during a trying time but Efe rejected her invitation.
Biola gave her another envelope, a big brown envelope “I understand why you won’t want to come for my wedding… it’s okay” Biola said and headed towards the door “I am afraid of you” Efe gobbed out, her words halted Biola’s steps
“Look at what you did to my father, I know that there is a justification but you did not stop until you broke him and it takes a lot to break that man but you did… right now he is a shadow of himself. Yes what he did to you was equally awful but everything makes me wonder if you can ever forgive, it makes me wonder if you will break me like you did him if I ever wrong you… I am not perfect Biola and no matter how good a friend we can be to each other, I am still the daughter of my father… so I think it is best if we burn this bridge and lead our lives separately” Efe sighed as if a heavy load had just been lifted from her head.
Biola was surprised at Efe’s words but not surprised at the same time because it was valid and short of words she took her handbag and bade her farewell.
Efe felt sadness creep into her heart but stopped it quickly “it’s for the best” she thought as she opened the second envelope Biola gave to her and what she saw in it stunned her.
In the envelope were two Treasury bill certificates of twenty-five billion naira each in Efe and her mother’s name. Yes Chief sold his company to Bright Chukwuemeka but on paper he sold it to Bash Ltd for ten naira, Bash Ltd was a company registered to Biola not Bright Chukwuemeka and Biola sold Chief’s company to Bright Chukwuemeka for fifty billion naira then she bought treasury bills of the same amount for Efe and her mother.
This was the action that would fulfil the promise she made to Efe in her note. The note she wrote to her when she promised to destroy Chief without hurting her or her mother.