THE PROMISE - Episode 16

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - fly to London, jollof rice, McDonald on Baker Street, Ziploc bag, bag, oreo mcflurry, policeman, ice cream, friend.

Shomaila held Kingsley for the first time. Tears rained down her face as she talked to him. Kingsley was talkative, as he yapped non-stop. “He is a carbon copy of you,” Shomaila said to Everest who was making Jollof rice in the kitchen. “And he talks like you honey,” Everest replied with a smile on his face. “I guess you are right…he is going to be such a talker,” Shomaila agreed. “Here’s your food,” Everest said as he laid a plate of hot jollof rice on the table for her. He took Kingsley from her, so she could eat uninhibited. He walked to the balcony. There, he talked to Kingsley who continued to yap non-stop. Shomaila had been released from hospital some days back. Slowly, she was settling back into life after her long coma. Her mother had finally agreed to fly to London to help them. She was due in London in three days.

“So, is this the picture of the girl who paid you to shoot Shomaila?” Detective Inspector Michael Chapman asked Roland, showing him a picture of Uremma. He shook his head. “No, that’s not her,” he replied. “What about this one?” He asked, flashing a picture of Lydia at him. “No. The girl who paid me to shoot her is white,” Roland replied. “Really? What does she look like?” “She is a tall British girl…certainly beautiful. She is about six feet five inches. She has long red hair.” “Are you sure?” “Positive.” “I think I have seen the girl you described before. This is scary.” Detective Chapman dashed out of the interrogation room and dialed Everest. He did not answer. He dialed again, yet there was no answer. He quickly dispatched a team of policemen to Everest’s apartment. By the time they got there, there was no one at home.

Inside Regents Park, Everest, Shomaila, Kingsley and Hannah walked around the Queen’s Rose Garden. Hannah had visited shortly after Shomaila had finished her plate of jollof rice and they all decided to take a walk through the park. “Let’s sit over there,” Shomaila said pointing at a seat under a tree by the pond. A school of goldfish darted in the pond on one end while a flock of ducks swam around on the other end. They sat under the tree and Shomaila said, “It is so beautiful here. I know I have been here several times, but I never really took the time to appreciate the beauty.” Since her recovery, she had taken an entirely different view of life, relishing everything in great detail. “After what I have been through, I am learning to enjoy every moment,” she would say. “It is beautiful indeed,” Hannah replied. “I brought some sandwiches…your favorite Shom – turkey sandwich,” Hannah said as she began to unwrap a bag she had been carrying with her.

Detective Michael had a staff look through their CCT footage from the date that Everest and Hannah had been to his office. After some digging, they found the images they were looking for – Hannah and Everest leaving Chapman’s office. “That’s her…that is the girl I am thinking of,” Chapman shouted pointing at Hannah in the footage. Freeze the video and print that image for me,” he ordered. The secretarial staff obliged him. He rushed back into the interrogation room and showed the picture to Roland. “That’s her right?” “Yes,” Roland answered. Chapman could hear his heart pounding. He had not informed Everest and Shomaila that Roland had been arrested, so Hannah was not aware either. I hope she is not with them, he thought. She is going to hurt Shomaila…he thought to himself anxiously.

“I want you to stay around the apartment,” Chapman yelled at his police squad over the phone, directing them to remain around Everest and Shomaila’ apartment. “Send some of your men to comb the area while some remain in front of the apartment. In fact, I want you to have some of your men break into the apartment while another group combs the area. This is very important. I have a feeling she is still going to try to harm Shomaila. Find Shomaila and Everest and their son by all means,” he yelled. His voice was filled with anxiety. After a short search on the computer, they were able to find Hannah’s address. He sent another squad to Hanna’s apartment. Soon, they called back to inform him that there was no one at home. They had broken into the apartment. Similarly, a break into Everest and Somalia’s apartment turned up nothing. “Find them!!! Find her!!!” Chapman yelled at his men.

“I don’t have an appetite for turkey, Hannah. Thanks for offering though. What I really crave is ice cream. I would love a McDonald oreo Mcflurry,” Shomaila said. “I will go and buy you one then,” Everest offered. “No, you two should catch up. I will run down to the McDonald on Baker Street and get you one,” Hannah offered. “Oh! Thanks a lot Han. What a darling friend you are,” Shomaila praised her effusively. “Come on, stop it. What are friends for,” Hannah replied casually. She took her purse and walked towards Baker Street. “Say bye for now to aunty Han,” Shomaila said to Kingsley. He smiled broadly without saying anything.

“We are glad that you have come out with the truth. Lydia,” detective Cameron said to Lydia. “I didn’t mean to kill them. I just wanted to make them sick for some time,” Lydia cried. Following the overwhelming evidence against her, she had finally offered to cooperate with the police on the advice of her lawyer. “With your cooperation, we will do our best to ensure that you get a less harsh sentence,” Cameron promised her. “Like how many years?” She asked apprehensively. “I can’t say for sure. Normally, a double charge of attempted murder would land you in jail for up to fifteen years if found guilty, depending on the circumstance. With your cooperation, you may end up with about eight years.” Lydia began to cry. Her mother and sister had flown from Bangalore to London to help her. Each time she saw them, she hung her head and cried bitterly.

Hannah bought the oreo mcflurry and carried it in a bag with her towards Regents Park. When she had gone past York Terrace, she stopped in a corner, took out the mcflurry and placed it on a pavement. Then, she rummaged through her bag for a deadly chemical she had picked up from the laboratory where she worked. She had the chemical in a Ziploc bag. She opened the Ziploc bag and gently poured the chemical content onto a top section of the ice cream. She threw the rest of the chemical away with the Ziploc bag. She waited a moment for the chemical to dissolve, and then she placed it back in the bag and walked back towards her friends.

“Have you found her?” Chapman yelled into the phone. “Not yet, sir,” answered his subordinate. “You have to find her…you have to find her quickly,” he ordered. He dialed Everest again, yet there was no answer. Everest had forgotten his phone at home, and Chapman did not have Shomaila’s phone number. He stood by the window trying to come up with a plan. His gut told him that Hannah would still try to harm Shomaila. If she tried once, she will try again, he concluded. He quickly dashed downstairs and headed for his official car.

“You are back!” Shomaila shouted when she sighted Hannah walking towards them. “Yes, I am. It was a short walk,” she replied. She sat back on the Park chair, opened the bag she was clutching and brought out an extra-large cup of oreo mcflurry. “Here you go!” She announced. “Yea!!! Shomaila bellowed as she took hold of the cup. Kingsley reached for the cup too. “It is not for you,” Everest who was carrying him said as he held him back. “I am salivating at the thought of devouring this cup of oreo mcflurry by myself,” Shomaila said. “I guess I will give you a bit, Kingsley,” she added. She took the spoon and scooped a huge chunk of the ice cream. Some of the milky part was dripping back into the cup. Chunks of the oreo chocolate littered the rest of the scoop that Shomaila was bringing to her mouth. Eat it…eat it and die, Hannah thought as she looked at her.

“Stop!!!” A policeman shouted. He had a picture of Hannah, Everest and Shomaila in hand as he ran towards them.  “Who is that?” Shomaila asked. “Is that a policeman?” Everest asked. “Have your ice cream before it melts,” Hannah urged her. “Don’t eat that stuff!!!” The policeman shouted. He was dashing quickly towards them. Instinctively, Hannah got up and made a run for it. “What is going on?” Everest and Shomaila asked the policeman. “Did she offer you that?” He asked Shomaila pointing at the ice cream. “Yes.” “You can’t have it. Place that beside you. It may contain poison in it.” “Poison?” Shomaila asked. The policeman was speaking into the radio informing his colleagues where he was and which direction Hannah ran towards. He picked up the oreo mcflurry from Shomaila as evidence. “Watch over this. My colleagues are coming,” he said as he ran after Hannah.

“Why on earth did you try to kill me, Hannah? I thought we were best friends?’ Shomaila asked Hannah who was now in detention. She said nothing in return. She was behind bars with her hands cuffed while Shomaila was on the other side of the bars. “I wanted to look you in the eye and ask you what I did to you Hannah. I will come here every day and in court afterwards to stare you in the eye until you tell me how I wronged you,” Shomaila insisted. After several unsuccessful tries, she turned to leave. “You always got the good guys!” Hannah shouted emotionally as Shomaila headed for the exit. “I wanted what you have, Shomaila. Everest was supposed to be mine. I was the first girl to show interest in him in the first year, but he ignored me. I have loved him for as long as I can remember. Then, you came by, and just like that, you took him. I wanted you out of the way so I could have him!!!” Hannah said. She was not crying. He voice sounded like it was made of steel and her eyes stared coldly back at Shomaila who had walked back to hear what her friend had to say.

“You disgust me. You wanted to kill me…your best friend? Over my husband? Did I ever stop you from having him before I began to date him? You are evil. You wanted me dead so you could have my husband and son?” “I would have killed your son with time,” Hannah said coldly. I did not want him…I wanted you and your child out of the way so I could have Everest all to myself. You get the good guys always, while only terrible idiots and losers come my way. It is not fair!!!” You choose whom you date, Hannah. If you attract losers, then you are probably portraying yourself as one, my friend. I wish you all the best in jail. I am never having a friend…never!!!” She left in tears…tears of shock. Lydia received a nine-year jail sentence, while Uremma received an eighteen-year sentence. Roland was sentenced to twenty two years in prison. Everest and Shomaila continued to live in London. They made successful efforts to reconnect with their families. Afterwards, they were careful who day allowed into their lives.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 16
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - fly to London, jollof rice, McDonald on Baker Street, Ziploc bag, bag, oreo mcflurry, policeman, ice cream, friend. An African Literary Blog
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