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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

It's A Love Story (9)

All the while, my search for Cindy had yielded nothing. I had gone through our yearbook and found the contact details she put up there. I found only a house address. I went there and found that they had moved out a long time ago. They didn’t have any idea where they had moved to. They said Cindy and her mum moved out after her father died and Brian went to jail. Brian Sullivan in jail? I was shocked to hear that. 

I knew Cindy had a lot of explaining to do, but that would happen only if I found her. But I did not. The social network, ‘Facebook’, did not help either. Entering ‘Cindy Sullivan’ in the search box came back with no results found. Entering ‘Cindy’ alone came back with about five thousand search results. Perhaps she used another name that I did not know, I thought to myself.

I had not seen Tony since I returned, Martha said I shouldn’t contact him in anyway, she said it would spoil the plan. Her reason made sense to me then, “We don’t want him linking you with what happens to Seun, do we?”

Martha came to visit me in my office; she came often but this time was different. “I have the items” she said, “All that’s left is for you to make up your mind.” Then she showed me the drugs and the gun. I couldn’t hide my surprise, even though we had talked about the plan severally.

 “This weekend would be perfect. We would strike as early as possible. Her security guard will let us in, I have settled him.” Martha made it seem like a covert operation not a fight for love. She made it look so easy, but I was clearly scared. I had not handled a gun before, not to talk of pointing it at someone. I wonder why I ever listened to her.

It was all like a dream to me, one moment I was standing in Seun’s living room pointing a gun at her, and the next I’m in the defendant stand of a high court in Lagos. I was charged with attempted murder and drug trafficking. I was even more shocked when they called the first witness.
“The court now calls the first witness, Martha Okorie”. I almost fainted, matter of fact, I think I did. But that wasn’t the end. The evidence brought forward was incredible; there were death threats from me to Seun in form of text-messages and e-mails, and the police confirmed Martha’s statement that she saw me pointing the gun at Seun when the police came in to save the day.

I had no case, plus my lawyer was such a bloody greenhorn. He couldn’t tell that everything was a set-up. I had fallen into a trap from day one. From my meeting Martha on the plane to her assistance, everything was a hoax and I was far too dumb to see otherwise. I realised later that everything was staged by Seun. 

Martha was like her ‘Operations Officer’ or something like that. She tracked my progress all through my stay in London and all the way back to Nigeria. A file on me was opened the day I accepted Seun’s offer in my living room, and my whole life was being watched on a big screen. That day at the eatery, it was Seun that Martha had met with before I came in. The death threats were sent from Martha to Seun to implicate me. She made sure to leave my initials, M.A, at the end of every text-message, and the e-mails were sent from an address, ‘’. I noticed the dates on the threats too, they started coming in two days after my meeting with Martha in the eatery.

The so called plan Martha had, was the final spell. I was to point the gun at Seun and make her scared and submissive, and then give her a piece of my mind, while she, Martha, went in and planted the drugs. Then we would call the police in to search and find the drugs, and arrest Seun for drug trafficking. There was never a plan to kill her, the gun wasn’t even loaded. The plan was intended to set Seun up, not me. I was arrested by the same officers we had brought to arrest Seun. Martha had been to the police before then to tell them that she was being coerced to be an accomplice to murder, but that she had a plan. I walked into a well laid plan that I had thought I was in control of.

This morning, I overheard two warders as they walked past my cell; they were talking about the governor of Lagos State granting pardon to some criminals, they mentioned a name, I heard one say “…Brian Sullivan, dem say im kill im papa wey rape im sister. How person go rape im on daughter sef, na wa o”. Brian? That’s Cindy’s brother, I remember. I remember Cindy’s story again, the one she told me the night before graduation. I wish someone had fought my course for me, like Brian did for Cindy. I wouldn’t be here now.

I don’t blame Seun anymore, for anything. She did give me an opportunity that I willingly accepted, and I had the opportunity to refuse. She gave me a good education, a chance for a good and perhaps happy life; but I wanted to eat my cake and have it.

I remember the last thing my brother told me before he died, I didn’t think then that it was a warning to me, he said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Now I guess I fully understood what he meant. Today it rained for the first time since I’ve been here; I guess that’s a good sign.

 I am hopeful.


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