Shade sat on the bed and held her head in her hands. She tried to make sense of the quagmire in which she put herself. She should have walked away when she discovered that her best friend wanted to destroy her life so that she could get her husband. She should have allowed Gbenga and his mistress have what they wanted instead of threatening him with a gun. The situation had gone out of hand. She shot Gbenga and almost killed him. Right now she didn’t know if he would survive the injury.
“Oh Lord,” she prayed, “please show me the way out of this situation. I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want my husband to die. Please don’t let my husband die. Oh Lord, save Gbenga for me,” she prayed earnestly with tears.
She heard Ngozi and Sadique talking in hushed tones in the hallway.
“We need to move him to the visitor’s bedroom,” Ngozi said.
“Let me get the room ready,” Sadique said and went downstairs.
Ngozi had warned her not to call or talk to anyone about the accident, but she couldn’t keep this to herself. She had to talk to someone. But who? She stood up from the bed and paced the room. She stepped out on the balcony and looked up at the starry night, as if expecting answers from a mystical being. The silence was driving her crazy. She went back into the bedroom, carried her bag and entered the bathroom. She sat on the edge of the bathtub and brought out her phone. She held it for a few seconds wondering if she should make the call or suffer the pain alone in silence.
She made the call.
“Mom, I’m in trouble,” Shade whispered, “Big trouble.”
“I can barely hear you. Why are you whispering? What sort of trouble are you in?” her mom asked.
“Mom, something terrible just happened at home.”
“Are you alright? Is Gbenga alright? What happened?
Shade was silent.
“Are you there? What happened?”
“When I got home, I spoke with a Gbenga about our marriage. Things had really gone bad…” she started crying.
“Shade, calm down and tell me what happened.”
“Mom, you’ve been right all along. How can I repair the damage I have done to my life and my marriage?”
“My daughter, there is nothing too hard for God to do. If we put our trust in The Lord, He will never let us down. What happened?”
“While Gbenga and I were talking, Ngozi entered our bedroom.”
“Why did she do that? What was she looking for?”
“Mom, she wants to steal Gbenga away from me. They were planning to get married in eight weeks.”
“That can’t be possible. Ngozi wouldn’t do that to you. She’s your best friend!”
“Mom, that’s what I have been trying to tell you, Ngozi is not the person you think she is. She is a completely different person. She and Gbenga were about to walk out on me so I…” her voice trailed off.
“Shade, what did you do?”
Shade started crying again. She felt overwhelmed by the situation. She thought she was a strong woman and didn’t need anyone’s help to make her life work or help her solve her problems. But these two days had shown her that she was human like everybody else and needed all the help she could get.
Her mom was still talking on the other end of the line. “Shade, what happened?”
Ngozi burst into the bathroom like a US Marine hunting down terrorists. “What do you think you are doing?” Before Shade could say anything, Ngozi snatched the phone from her hand and threw it against the wall.
‘Smash!’ It shattered on the bathroom floor.
“You shouldn’t have. I liked that phone,” Shade said, looking at the pieces on the floor with some sadness.
“I told you not to contact anybody. Don’t tell anyone what is happening in this house. What part of that don’t you understand?” she asked Shade.
“I was only calling my mom.”
“Your mom, your dad, your priest, even God. Don’t talk to anyone!”She held Shade by the hand and dragged her out of the bathroom. “Sit down there,” she pointed at the bed.
Shade refused to sit down.
“Are you deaf? I said you should sit on that bed.”
“Ngozi, you have no place in my home. I think it’s time for you to leave. You’ve done enough damage as it is already.”
“What did you say?” Ngozi asked.
Shade raised her voice.”You should leave my home before things become worse than they already are.”
Ngozi poked a slim finger at Shade’s chest. “It seems as if you don’t understand the gravity of what you have done. You shot your husband. If the police gets involved in this, you could go to jail. Are you ready to spend the rest of your life in jail?”
Shade shook her head. “No,” she answered.
“So, I will advice you to stay away from your phone and keep your mouth shut! Do you think you can do that?”
Shade nodded, but her eyes were still defiant.
“Now sit!” Ngozi pointed at the bed.
Shade sat down slowly.
Ngozi walked out of the room and shut the door behind her.
Shade looked at her hands, her mind working through her options. She got up from the bed, rummaged through her wardrobe and found another phone. One of the benefits of travelling as she did was that she bought quite a number of phones. She found the Sim card of the broken phone and inserted it into the new one.
She dialled her mom again.
Her mom answered before the second ring. “I was wondering, what happened to you?”
“Mom, are you sitting down?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Promise me you won’t overreact.”
“Overreact to what?”
“Just promise me first.”
“Mom, I just shot my husband.”
“Oh my goodness! Shade, what have you done?” her mom shouted on the other end of the line. “You have killed me my daughter! I am dead! Our enemies have won at last. Our enemies have won!” Her mom’s panic filled voice broke into the confined spaces of her soul, bringing with it various fears, neutralising her tattered emotional defences and destroying whatever shards of faith she had left within her soul.
To be continued.