“Why did you do it? I can’t protect you from everything. I am not the commissioner of police, even if I were there’s will still be a limit to my power” Onu was upset, he sat adjacent Abel’s hospital bed with a hat that could have covered his face if he wanted it to and a pair of shades dangling from the neck of his shirt
“What makes you think that I did it?” Abel was shocked “Come on, that lame story of yours will work for your church members but not a police officer like me. So tell me why you did it” Abel paused for a few seconds, his eyes pinned to his feet “I had to, she knew everything and she was going to go to the police” “you should have let her come to me. I would have been able to protect you that way” Onu retorted
Abel lifted his gaze from his feet and looked at Onu “she knew about you too. She knew that you were protecting me and she was going to meet your superior” Abel’s words made Onu sigh but he was in no way relieved. He was starting to realize that in the act of protecting a criminal, he had bitten more than he could chew; he wanted out but as at that moment, in the hospital room, he couldn’t see a way out.
After a long pause “you did the right thing” he heard himself say to Abel and he knew that he said those words out of a subconscious fear that he was starting to feel. The fear of Abel Egwurube; he could see that Abel was ready to do anything to stay out of jail and that could mean killing him like he did his wife.
“Why did you do it?” Onu asked “I just told you, she knew everything and she was going to…” “not Ene” Onu interrupted “Bishop Chukwu. What was your reason for taking his life?” Abel was taken aback by Onu’s question because he thought that they were on the same page from the beginning of this ordeal.
“I did it because he was a monster, look at the things that he did to people; look at what he did to Nila. Isn’t he the reason why she cannot walk again today? He deserved to die and you know it” “I know that he did but I was asking for your own reason of killing him, I didn’t think it was a general reason” “Is Nila a general reason?” Abel asked and Onu shook his head.
“What about my partner Rebecca? You had nothing to do with her getting shot?” Onu was trying to tie up loose ends and the first step to doing that was to gain the complete truth from Abel or whatever truth he could fetch from his answers “I am asking all these because it will help me protect you better if I know the truth” Onu explained but his explanation was not good enough to stop Abel’s irritation but he answered him anyway.
“I didn’t kill that Nkechi girl and I did not send anyone to shoot your colleague. I had no reason to; nothing has ever brought me and that Nkechi girl together. Do you believe me now?” “Yes I do, if you say you didn’t do it then you didn’t do it” Onu replied “I have all the truth I need”.
But he didn’t have the truth; everything Abel told him that afternoon in the hospital was a lie, even the tale about Nkechi. It is true that Rita wanted Nkechi dead but after pushing her off the roof that night, she changed her mind and gave up when Rebecca told her that Nkechi was still alive. She resigned herself to her fate and prepared to fight for her freedom in court the moment Nkechi became well enough to report her to the police. But that never happened, because of Abel.
The night Abel stabbed Bishop Chukwu was the same night Nkechi wanted to go and cause catastrophe in Bishop Chukwu’s home. She was tired of being the mistress and wanted to go and take her rightful place by force. She wanted to move into their home whether they liked it or not; she was desperate.
As she parked car still deliberating whether to go through with her plan, she saw a man run out of their gate towards a car and drive off. She didn’t know who the man was but she subconsciously crammed his car plate number and the next day, while in church for a meeting she saw Abel enter the car with the same plate number as the night before; so she started black mailing him.
In time, Abel sent someone to finish what Rita started but couldn’t finish and Rebecca was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Abel was never going to tell Onu any of these; the only thing he decided to do was to not kill again. But it will not be easy.
Onu kept Abel company in the hospital, they talked and laughed about different things. Things that had nothing to do with the situation on ground; it would be the last time they ever hung together in this manner. Life had changed for the two close cousins who grew up together; One had turned into a murderer and the other had decided to become a blameless policeman.