“Welcome back my daughter, I have been waiting for your return" My mum said in a soft spoken voice, looking so happy and excited to see me, the trip was so stressful; I really had a hard time on my way back.
“I missed y-you so much mum, I really wanted to come back early but the jour-journey wasn’t easy, traffic on the road was hectic.” I said speaking in a brittle voice.
“Oh! My baby why are you getting so emotional did something happen on your way back home?” she asked observing the sudden change on my face and voice.
I really can’t tell her about what happened earlier; it wouldn’t feel so good getting her worried about the whole thing.
“No mum! what can really happen, I just missed you a lot that’s why am being emotional. Anyway what did my precious mum cook for me, I’m famished?” I asked her leaving the sitting room to the dining table. She cooked enough food for an army, ya food just reminded me that I haven’t seen my little sister.
We are a family of three, me, my mum and my 19 years old sister Elfrida. I was 13 years old when my dad died and my sister was 10 year, my mum had a hard time bringing us up and that’s the more reason why I love her to the moon and back and can’t stand to see her hurt. I loved my dad so much that his death left me broken; I can still remember clearly the day he died of brain tumor.
“Here I am big sis! I have missed you so much.” I watched my little sister walk right into my arms; I hugged her so tightly and didn’t want to let her go.
We all sat down for dinner, after which we talked about random things. My mum noticed something was wrong with me and she kept asking but I assured her that everything was okay. What had happened to me was something I couldn’t tell my family about or else they would die of a broken heart.
“Baby please drive faster, I don’t want to miss the movie.”
“You know we are not supposed to drive this fast since it’s raining and I can barely see the road clearly.”
“Oh! Come on baby, just step on it, how difficult is that ha?”
“I told you not to drink so much, why did you take so much drink when you know you can’t handle it”
“I want to dance baby, and scream out loud! Come on babe let …”
“I didn’t kill him!!! I know I was in the car but I really didn’t kill him.”
I woke up from my dream really frightened, I was suffocating, and it took me awhile before I realized my sister was sitting next to me on the bed. I looked at the clock and it was already 1:35am, what was she doing in my room sited on my bed staring at me right in the face.
“Fri-Fri-Frida, what are you do…doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?” I was perplexed
“Nat! What are you hiding? I might be your little sister but I can feel it when you are bothered about something and that’s why I couldn’t sleep.”
I was so confused I didn’t know what to do, yes I needed someone to talk to but I don’t know if Frida would be the best person for that. What if she gets mum involved? That’s the last thing I want right now.
“Come on am your sister, I know you too well of cause, I will never tell mum if that’s what you are scared of.” She said. I kept quiet for a while looking confused.
“Come on Nat! Spill the beans, don’t you trust me anymore?” she said touching me on the shoulder.
“Of cause I trust you more than I trust myself and you know that.” I confessed.
“Then tell me! I can sense you are bothered about something.” Her words made me feel comfortable. I couldn’t control myself and busted into tears.
“F-F-Fri-da, trust me I didn’t do it, I promise I didn’t i…” I stuttered.
“But I don’t understand what you are trying to say sis, maybe you should calm down first then talk to me.” She said holding my hands and looking at me in the face.
I tried to calm down by breathing in and out; i didn’t know how to say this to her.
“It all started when I left for the trip, I lied to you guys that I was going to Lagos for a business meeting rather I wanted to spend time with Alex.” I said, seeing the shock expression on Frida’s face when she released my hands. I stood up from the bed and moved towards the window, the window panes were talking as the wind blew through them.
“What!” she said shocked.
“I know mum doesn’t like him and warned me several times to stay away from him but I didn’t listen. I didn’t want anyone to know that I went to his place so I disguised myself and made sure no one noticed me there.” still looking outside the window, I paused for a minute and then continued talking.
“We had so much fun together and whenever we went out I made sure that I disguised myself to avoid anyone noticing me. I wore a wig, dark shades and always putting on a face cap.”
I turned around to look at Frida; she was all ears. Listening to my own self, made me realize what a fool I was.
“Our last outing was at a bar, that day I wanted to go to the cinema badly but he insisted that we stop by a bar and have few drinks, I agreed with him and as usual I had my disguise on, he ordered for himself a bottle of Star Lager and malt for me. We took our drinks then I don’t know what got into me! I wanted to try the alcohol he was drinking so I ordered for a bottle of Star Lager.” I could still vaguely recall that day at the bar, it was my first time taking an alcohol; it tasted bad still I drank it.
“Alex asked if I could handle it and I said yes. After finishing a complete bottle I ordered for more, he told me to stop that I was already getting drunk but I didn’t listen to him. I was craving for more until he went to the counter and paid the bills. He took me out of the bar in a bad state, I was so drunk but Alex wasn’t. We got into the car and left there, i can’t really recollect what happened afterwards but I remember I kept mentioning the word cinema, cinema.
When i woke up I found myself at the hospital, there was a nurse sitting next to me, my head was aching and I realized i had a small injury on my head which was already bandaged. I looked around for Alex but he was no were to be found. The nurse sitting next to me kept looking at me strangely! I was perplexed.” That day was my worst day ever.
“Why where you at the hospital?” she asked.
“The nurse told me that I was involved in an accident were I killed someone while driving recklessly!”
“Oh! My god, how did that happen?” she was shocked to hear that.
“I don’t know! And what is even more terrifying in all of this is that the person whom I was told I killed was Alex!”
“How is that possible? I thought you said Alex was in the car with you?” she said with a look of puzzlement on her face.
“Yes! That’s what I can remember, I was found in the driver’s sit, but I know I was not the one who drove the car, being in the driver’s sit is still what I don’t get and then Alex the victim! It so complicated” glance darting around, head turning, as if looking for answers.
Frida opened her mouth but was not speaking, hands touching her lips, mouth, and face; she took a deep breath and letting it out again slowly. After a long silence she stood up and walked towards me, I looked into her eyes and all I could see was strength, courage and hope that all this would pass away like a bad dream.
“Nat, you don’t have to say anything cause I know my sister can never kill someone intentionally.” She assured me holding my hands. But she didn’t get it.
“No Frida! You don’t understand, I didn’t even kill him unintentionally, yes I can’t remember what happened that night but it not possible that I was driving and then killed Alex on the road like he was never in the car.” I explained.
“What happened at the hospital?”
“I was unconscious in the hospital for 3 days, when I woke up the nurse told me everything and that the case is still under investigation, I got so scared, I didn’t want to go to jail for a crime I didn’t commit.”
“So what happened?”
“I ran away from the hospital.” I said, looking away from her.
“So did you get to speak to the investigator in charge?” she asked.
“Yes, Mr. Harun! He came to the hospital when I was awake and asked a few questions, I explained all I could remember to him and then he said if I could find a way to prove that I was with Alex that night and in that car that I could go off the hook. Frida you have to help me! Am v-very sure they will c-come for me soon.” i started chewing on my lower lip and my eyes welled up with tears.
A single tear squeezed out of Frida’s eyes, she looked away as her face turned red. She has always been a strong girl seeing her emotional makes me feel bad.
“Something is wrong somewhere, whatever happened that night was planned. What about the car, isn’t it for Alex?”
“No, we hired the car; actually he said his car was with the mechanic”
“Under whose name was the car hired?”
“Mine, he told me it made no difference if I hired the car or he did.”
“What about his house? Isn’t there anything that can prove that you were with him?”
“After I ran away from the hospital, I went to his house at the drop of a hat but to my surprise there was nothing there, the whole house was empty, I picked my stuff and left” I answered tremulously, Frida hugged me and promised that she won’t let me suffer for a crime I didn’t commit. She stayed in my room till I hit the sack, before leaving.
The next day at precisely 7:00 am, my alarm clock sprang to life. After doing all my morning routine I had my breakfast. Mum was in her room, I went to the sitting room and turned on the TV, I changed the channel to a news channel, I guess ever since this whole issue I have developed a sudden interest in watching the news..
I was shocked when I heard what was said on the news.
“We are going to make sure we find her and bring her behind bars, you can’t kill someone and go scout free.” the man on the TV said, It was written in the news that his an investigator.
“My c-c-child! She killed my child and ran away! The law must bring justice to my son.” The parent of the deceased said crying profusely.
“Like you all heard Natasha Wilfred is a suspect of a murder that occurred on the 12th of June 2017, the suspect was said to have been involved in an accident while going back home, which lead to the death of Mr Alex Benjamin Okoro who was a victim of this accident. Investigations were still going on to find out if really it was an accident or a well-planned murder of Mr Alex when it was discovered that on the 17th of June she escaped from the hospital where she was admitted, all evidences gathered so far shows that miss Natasha killed the man in the form of an accident reasons still unknown.” The reporter said reading from a paper. There was a messaged passed on the TV, I read it with fear all over my body.
“The family of Mr. Benjamin want‘s Miss Natasha to feel the pain they are going through and so they want the law to bring justice to the death of their only son.” I couldn’t hold the heartbreak any longer, tears escaped my eyes.
I switched of the TV in fear; I didn’t even realize when I fell to the ground in tears. All I could think of was who could be behind this? And the only thing that could pop into my mind was WHO ARE YOU???
At the corner of the sitting room Elfrida who was watching me cry started smiling mysteriously as she made a phone call.
“Hello, Alex It’s me Elfrida, ARE YOU READY TO COME BACK TO LIFE?"