“Thank you ma.” Joy replied curtseying. Banke pried her chain out of Teniola’s hands and reached for her handbag. ‘Err.. Aunty, there’s something I want to show you”
“What is it?” Banke asked curiously as Joy handed her the note. Shock registered on Banke’s face as she read the note, what had been going on in Mrs Afebioye’s house?
“Where did you get this?”
“I found it in my textbook last night, I lent it to Peace”
“Have you noticed anything strange going on between them?”
“No ma.” Joy was going to tell her that Ayodele had told her that Peace kissed him but she didn’t want to get him in trouble so she said. “But one day when I went to their house I heard Peace talking to someone but when she opened the door she said she wasn’t talking to anyone.”
Banke sighed, what should she do now? “Okay, thank you for giving this to me.”
Mrs Adepetu walked into the room and looked at the plate, Olayinka had barely eaten her breakfast and she sat down on the bed staring into empty space.
“Mummy!” she replied startled.
“You’re not eating your food.” She observed
“Yes, I’m not very hungry.” Olayinka replied with a weak smile. Mrs Adepetu observed her daughter a little longer. “Why are you looking at me that way?” Olayinka queried, she hadn’t seen this look in a a very long time.
“I’m just wondering what to do about you.”
“Don’t worry about me Mummy, I’ll be fine.”
“I know you will,” Mrs Adepetu said meaningfully and collected the plates.
“Yes? Good evening ma, I hope there’s no problem?” Helen replied apprehensively, wondering why the after-school club director was calling her.
“There’s no problem madam we just wanted to find out if you are the one who would be picking up your children today.”
“My husband hasn’t picked them up yet?”
“No madam, we’ve been calling his number but it’s unreachable. We’ve been calling yours too for over an hour now.”
“Yes, sorry I was in surgery.”
It was a quarter after ten and Helen was just returning from work. Obiora would have at least called her if he couldn’t pick up the children, something was wrong. “Alright ma, I’ll be there shortly. I’m on the next street.” She hung up then dialed her husband’s number and truly his number was unreachable, she tried several times but got the same result. She decided to try his colleague.
“Helen? How are you, is everything okay,” Kayode asked concerned, Helen had never called him this late.
“Is Obiora still at work?”
“No, he even left early today, said he had to pick up the kids.”
“I don’t know where he is and his number is unreachable, I just got a call from the after-school.”
“He’s probably stuck in traffic…”
“No, the road is free.” Helen interrupted anxiously.
“I want you to calm down, I’m sure there’s a good explanation for this.”
“Okay, bye, thanks.” Helen hung up, something was wrong and she could feel it. “Please God…” she prayed fervently pulling up in front of the after-school club building and dashing out.
Banke was looking for her iPad when she found the note that Joy had given her in the morning. She had decided to give it to Ronke but forgot, even though it was late she thought it was important enough for her to see Ronke.
“I’ll be back” She said to Kunle who was sitting at the dining.
“Where are you going?” Kunle asked looking at the wall clock.
I’m going to Mummy Ayodele’s house”
“At this time?” he asked, darting his glance at the clock again.
“Yes, it’s important.” She sighed. “Joy gave me this note this morning.” She said handing Kunle the note.
Kunle raised his eyebrows. “Wow. But where did she find it?”
“She said it was in her textbook.”
“So you plan to give the note to Ayodele’s mum?”
“Yes…” Banke wondered why Kunle was even asking. “You don’t think I should?”
“No I don’t. You know the way they are, Ayodele’s mum might not appreciate it.”
“Why wouldn’t she? If I were in her shoes I would.”
“Not everyone is like you…”
“So you’re saying I should just stay out of it?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea…”
“Why did Joy even give it to you? Don’t you think she could have written it herself?”
“Why would she do that?”
“I don’t know, there’s something just not right about the story.”
“I still think I should give it to her.”
“Alright if you say so.” He shrugged.
“Joy gave me this in the morning and I forgot about it until now, I think you should read it.” Banke said handing the note to Ronke.
Ronke was shocked. “Where did she get this?”
“She said it was in her English textbook which she borrowed Peace”
“But this isn’t Peace’s handwriting.” Ronke said bewildered.
“Dear!” Dapo called coming into the sitting room. “Who is at the door?”
Ronke quickly clutched the note in the fold of her nightgown beneath her swollen belly. “It’s Mummy Teni.”
“Please leave, we’ll discuss this later!” Ronke whispered.
“Okay but it’s important that….”
“Alright, thank you and goodnight!” she said loudly in a cheerful voice and shut the door in Banke’s face.
“What did she want at this time of this night?”
“She was asking for some advice concerning Teni” Ronke replied dismissively, still clutching the fold beneath her belly.
“And it couldn’t wait till tomorrow morning? You women!” Dapo said shaking his head and returning to the room.
“Mummy why didn’t Daddy come and get us?” Onyebuchi asked flopping on to the sofa.
“He’s not yet back from work.” Helen replied trying to keep her worry out of her voice.
Helen’s phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hello, is that Mrs Nwachukwu?”
“Yes it is” Helen replied in a shaky voice.
“Your husband was attacked by armed robbers…”
“Oh my God, oh my God! Is he alright?” she asked her heart beating faster.
“I can’t hear you! The line is… Hello sir?” The call was disconnected. She checked her phone, there was no signal.