The Holder family was still in shock. Damola was clingy, afraid to be without his mother, Kayinsola had taken time off work to be with her child, and Rotimi was always calling home to make sure his son was fine. The house was quiet, everyone just going about their activities, no one talking. They were afraid to talk, because talking required going into details, probing the past, confronting consequences, admitting to horrid skeletons in the closets.
Although they weren’t talking, they were thinking. For Damola, being with his mother wherever she was was the only place safety was guaranteed. Men were not to be trusted, only women were good. He jumped at the sound of the door opening and cried a lot when he wasn’t subdued. He threw tantrums when he didn’t get what he wanted and took to sucking his thumb. Visitors couldn’t carry or touch him and he screamed at anyone who held out their hand to him.
Kayinsola was tired. Damola was difficult to deal with. She had been sleeping with him in his room ever since the kidnapping and she saw how disturbed her son’s sleep was. He would trash about for several minutes and cry in his sleep. Even she wasn’t sleeping well, and she was afraid of the night. What if T.J escaped from prison and found his way to her house again? She decided that they needed to move out of their current house.
But that’s if Rotimi still wants us to be a family.
Rotimi didn’t speak to her apart from the times he called from work to confirm that Damola was safe. He hadn’t asked her anything or done anything to acknowledge her confession at T.J’s house. In fact, he passed by her as if she was non-existent. As far as she was concerned, Rotimi only thought of her when he thought of Damola. Kayinsola was depressed by guilt, she had brought this calamity on herself and her family. It was all her fault. She should have told Rotimi about T.J’s threats, she should have told hm about her infidelity, she should never have gone to T.J’s house that afternoon when they started seeing each other again, she should never have talked to T.J the first time she ever saw him at her older sister’s birthday party. Kayinsola was full of regrets but she knew that life had to go on.
Rotimi was handling this a little differently, nothing bugged him about the incident as much as what he’d almost done to T.J.
Do you want to kill him?
He heard Kayinsola’s voice over and over again.
He remembered the amount of blood on T.J’s face and the look of shock on Kayinsola’s face and that of the police when they finally showed up at T.J’s house.
I am capable of evil.
The nightmares were back, and T.J was featuring in them. His company had chosen someone else to go on the training so he had nowhere to go to sort out his feelings. Worse still, he had to face Kayinsola everyday and wonder what she thought of him.
She’s capable of evil too.
Yes, Kayinsola was capable of evil, she had killed an innocent human being for the chance of a life with him. Kayinsola was evil. He couldn’t stand the fact that she had kept such a secret for so long. What else did he not know about the woman he’d slept in the same bed with for years?
“Rotimi we need to talk.” Kayinsola said somberly. She’d come into the room unnoticed and watched Rotimi siting on the bed, lost in thought.
“How long have you been standing there?”
“Not long. We need to talk.”
“I think we should leave this house. We’re not safe… I don’t feel safe here and I don’t think Damola does either.”
Rotimi laughed humorlessly. “I can’t live with someone I don’t know.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I can’t live with a murderer!”
Kayinsola knew she deserved his reproach but to actually hear him say how he truly felt about her was distressing.
“I made a mistake Rotimi.”
“And so did I apparently.” He shook his head. “You went back to that crazy guy? For what Kayinsola? What did he give you that was worth all this?” he raised his hands in frustration. “And then you came innocently to the altar to trap me in your mess!”
Kayinsola was very sorry. “I’m sorry. I made a very stupid mistake that I have never stopped regretting.”
“You’re a whore, a murderer and a hypocrite! You lift your filthy hands up in church and pretend to be holy! I can’t stand the sight of you.”
Kayinsola walked away from him unable to stop the tears from flowing and feeling mortified. But there was no time to cry, some of their church members were going to visit soon and she had to be ready to tell them the half-truths they’d been telling their friends all week.
Leke could only take one week off from work. He was in charge of a team that had been working on a deal with an international company for months. When he resumed, he gauged the body language of his colleagues, they seemed genuinely happy for him. It looked like Jeffrey hadn’t said anything. The deal was signed and everything was going on well, or so it seemed until he got a call from Enyeama’s secretary who asked him to be at an impromptu meeting.
The minute he got into the meeting room and he saw Enyeama, his direct boss, the labour relations manager, Funmi, and the internal audit and compliance manager, Remi, he knew he was in trouble.
“Sit down Leke.” Enyeama said coolly.
“What’s going on? What’s this about?” he asked innocently.
“Let’s talk about the money you gave Jeffrey, the three million naira you gave Jeffrey.” Remi replied.
“Is there something wrong in giving somebody money?” he asked flippantly.
“There is when a total of fifty million naira is missing from several projects you handled.” Remi shot back.
“What are you insinuat…”
“We know everything Leke. Everything. Just tell us where the rest of the money is.”
In spite of the situation Leke laughed. He had no idea how to answer the question.
Jeffrey tapped his foot furiously staring at the people in the meeting room. He could hear them speaking but he wasn’t taking in their words. All he could hear was Leke was responsible. No wonder he had been so concerned, no wonder he didn’t look pleased to see him at his wedding. To think that he had gone through all he had been through because of Leke’s selfishness made him livid.
Yet again, Augusta was right. She had warned him about taking money from Leke, sensing that something didn’t add up bout his generous donation. To make matter worse he wasn’t going to get any compensation because of the money he had collected from Leke, albeit innocently. The truth hadn’t done anything for him except clear his name, which was a miracle, because the question of him collaborating with Leke had come up.
“So why did you people call me here?” he asked angrily.
“To let you know the truth.” Funmi answered.
“You could have told me that over the phone instead of wasting my time. You people are not willing to compensate me and I still can’t get a job so what’s the point?” he hissed and left the room.
Titi was cooking dinner when she got the call.
“Titi it’s me. I’m at the Ligali Police Station please call the lawyer.” Leke said.
“What? On what…”
The call had been disconnected.
“Embezzlement.” The police officer said when Leke’s lawyer asked what the charges were.
“That’s impossible! My husband has several investments, why would he…?” She faced her husband. “Leke I know it’s not true. We’ll get you out of here in no time.”
Leke sighed. “Ba… Titi… it’s… I can explain.”
“Explain what?” Titi shook her head disbelievingly. “I know I didn’t marry an embezzler, I know that all the money we spent at the wedding wasn’t illegal, I know…”
“I was just trying to provide a better life for us!” Leke said.
Titi was astonished. “By putting me to shame? What will my parents say? We’ve been married for barely two weeks! Why did you do this to me?”
“Hey madam this is not the place to act drama!” the police officer said. “Please go, you can’t bail him.”
“Oh my God!” Titi put her head in her hands and cried. “I will never forgive you Leke. I’m divorcing you, we’re done.”
“Titi!” Leke called out to his wife who had just left the station.