…Continued from episode 30
Lara’s alarm went off at 6am, like it did every morning; as usual, she hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep through the night because she wouldn’t stop having nightmares about Jeff. Everything about the house kept reminding her of that fateful day when Jeff was murdered, she could feel his presence around her anytime she was in the house and it made her uncomfortable.
Without wasting much time, she started to pack her bags, she had planned to call in sick to work that morning and go to Aunty Fanny’s place later to pick Jojo so that she could prepare her for the trip to Ghana. She made sure to pack enough belongings and money to last her at least a month.
Luckily, she was able to buy tickets for both her and Jojo on the 6pm flight to Accra that evening; after making a few more transactions, she headed to Aunty Fanny’s place.
“Wow! What a surprise, you didn’t tell me you were coming over this morning” Aunty Fanny exclaimed when Lara walked into the sitting room after the maid let her in, “I didn’t think I needed to book an appointment to see you or Jojo” Lara replied jokingly, “well, it’s still surprising to see you here” Aunty Fanny replied, “shouldn’t you be at work?”
“I’m taking a few weeks off work” Lara lied, “I need a change of scenery. Ever since Jeff’s murder, I’ve been so miserable, everything around here reminds me about him and it makes me sad. I just need to take a break from it all” Lara explained, “so where do you intend to go?” Aunty Fanny asked, “I’m thinking of going to Ghana and I intend to take Jojo along with me”
“Hmm! Are you sure this a good idea?” Aunty Fanny asked, “you’ll be all by yourself in Ghana with no family to comfort you. Have you thought it through?” she asked,
“Yes, I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I finally made up my mind to leave today” Lara replied “we’re leaving with the 6pm flight”
“Today?!” Aunty Fanny exclaimed in shock, “how come you never mentioned this to me before?”
“I hadn’t made up my mind then. I only decided to go ahead with the decision today” Lara replied.
“Well it’s okay” Aunty fanny replied, there’s not much I can do since you’ve made up your mind. It’s only for a few weeks anyway” she shrugged.
“I was actually on my way out before you came in”she added, “I have a 2pm appointment” she said looking down at her wristwatch, “I must be on my way now”
“Jojo and I will be gone by the time you return” Lara replied, “it’s okay, just make sure you take good care of the both of you” Aunty Fanny said patting her back, “if you need anything, I’ll be just a call away” she added with a smile, as she playfully pulled Lara’s cheeks.
“Thanks Aunty, I’ll remember that” Lara said giving her a hug, “goodbye” she called out to Aunty Fanny as she left the house to catch up with her appointment.
“We’re going to Tokunbo Avenue” Aunty Fanny told her driver as she entered the car, “ah! Tokunbo Avenue? By this time? That place far nah! Traffic go don too much for that side” the driver grumbled, “are you out of your mind?” Aunty Fanny asked, “no Madam, I just dey reason say we suppose don go since morning” he explained, “whether morning or afternoon, that’s where we’re going now, please start this car and let’s be on our way” Aunty Fanny hissed.
Omnipresent had called her at 7am earlier that morning as promised, he had asked that they meet at his house on Tokunbo Avenue which was a good 3-hour drive from her house. He had also warned her not to tell the police anything about their conversations and ensure that she came unaccompanied. She was skeptical about the whole situation but at the same time, she was desperate to find Jeff’s killers and get poor Lola out of police custody even if it meant losing her life in the process, “I don’t have much to lose if I die anyway, I’ve lived my life to the fullest” she convinced herself.
All through the journey she was thinking a lot, she wondered who omnipresent really was and how he found her number; she kept asking herself if he was really telling the truth and if he really had the evidence he claimed to have.
So many questions were running through her mind, she had been so lost in thought that she didn’t even realise it when they finally reached their destination. “Madam na Tokunbo Avenue we dey so o. na which number you dey go?” her driver asked, “take me to number 17” she replied as the driver rode down the street slowly looking left and right, trying to find number 17.
Finally, he pulled up in front of an ash coloured building with a black gate, “na number 17 be this” he announced, “okay just drive past and park further down about 3 blocks away, I’ll walk back to the house” Aunty Fanny ordered. “Ahn ahn! But we don already dey for front of house; why you wan come do Israelite journey come dey walk back again when you no be Moses?” the driver asked looking confused, “Silas, have you gone mad?” Aunty Fanny asked giving him a stern look, “sorry ma!” He quickly replied moving the car away and parking 3 blocks down as she had instructed, “I’ll be back soon” Aunty Fanny said getting down from the car, “but if you don’t see me in 1 hour, raise an alarm immediately”
“Alarm ke? Madam I never even get phone, talkless of the one wey get alarm clock wey I fit raise. My phone don spoil since last week” Silas replied, “why are you such an air head?” Aunty Fanny replied getting irritated, “If you don’t see me, call the police” she hissed slamming the door.
She walked back to no 17 and was about to knock on the gate when she realised it was open; she let herself into the compound. It was a small compound with flowers beautifully planted by the side walks. she studied her surroundings carefully, to make sure there was no danger and went ahead to ring the door bell. She didn’t get any response after a few seconds so she rang again, this time, she heard a voice that sounded like omnipresent’s shout, “come in, the door is open”
She slowly pushed the door open, popping in her head to see who was inside and was greeted by a short man rushing down the stairs to meet her; he wasn’t quite the person she had expected to see, his voice had been so husky and commanding on the phone that she’d imagined he was bigger and much more frightening.
“Welcome to my humble abode” he said taking a bow, “please sit” he said motioning for her to sit down.
“Would you care for a drink? I have wine, juice, soft drinks or beer if you prefer” he said with a wide grin,”no thanks,I’m fine” Aunty Fanny replied, “I’d rather we get down to business.”
“Okay, if you insist” he replied clapping his hands together,
“I guess you must be Omnipresent” Aunty Fanny said, “you guessed right” he replied, “it’s nice to finally put a face to the strange name” she said with a chuckle.
“I can imagine” he replied smiling.
“Let’s get down to business, if you don’t mind” Aunty Fanny” said, “I don’t have much time to spend here as I live very far” she explained, “that’s okay” he replied,
“you said over the phone that you had some evidence for me” Aunty Fanny reminded, “yes I do” he replied, “but before we get into the details, I’d like to invite someone else to join us” he announced, “can I ask who?” Aunty Fanny replied feeling rather uncomfortable, “don’t worry” he said noticing she was getting a little uneasy, “he’s here to help…he was a witness to the murder”,
“witness?” Aunty Fanny asked looking frightened, “how are we so sure he’s not an accomplice?” She asked, “let’s not jump into any conclusions until we hear from him” Omnipresent advised.
“You can come now” he shouted to the witness to join them while Aunty Fanny sat waiting anxiously for the witness to come.
She heard footsteps coming slowly down the stairs towards the back of the chair where she sat; finally, the foot steps stopped and the witness seemed to be standing right behind her chair.
“Why is the witness standing behind? She wondered looking back curiously to see who the witness was and immediately let out a loud scream running across the room away from him, “what’s going on here?” She said trembling from head to toe as she pushed against the wall on the opposite side of the room with her back, as if hoping an automatic passage way would appear so she could run away, “I think I’m seeing things” she screamed shaking her head vigorously, while Omnipresent and the witness stood staring, “can’t you see it too?” She asked sweating and pointing at the witness.
“relax, you’re not seeing things” Omnipresent replied, “There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re perfectly normal. That’s really Jeff standing behind the chair” Omnipresent reassured, “what do you mean that’s Jeff standing behind the chair? Are you out of your mind. How can seeing a dead person standing behind a chair in your sitting room be normal to you?” Aunty Fanny argued, “Jeff is not dead…he’s alive” Omnipresent explained,
“no he’s not” Aunty Fanny argued still pushing back against the wall, “3 people confirmed to me that they saw his body, so how can he be standing here with us now?” She asked in a shaky voice, “it’s a long story” Omnipresent replied, “I don’t even know where to start”…
Click here for episode 32