Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is growing up. – James A. Baldwin.
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Zainab stood transfixed on that spot, trying to assimilate what was happening and at the same time trying to tell herself that it was all a lie and hopefully a misunderstanding. She just couldn’t really believe that after she had agreed to give E.A a chance, she had to see him with another woman. “Zainab, why didn’t you call before coming over,” E.A asked again as he saw Zainab probably didn’t hear him the first time. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you have a guest,” Zainab replied. She knew she didn’t have any good reason to be disappointed or angry but she just couldn’t help it. E.A chuckled, he could read Zainab thoughts. “I know what you are thinking at the moment but it’s not true. This small girl here is my sister,” the lady at the front of E.A turned and playfully tapped E.A on the shoulder, “I’m not small,” she said. “Yes, you are small, don’t think because you now have two tiny oranges on your chest that you are now big oh,” E.A then turned to Zainab, “as I was saying, she is just my sister and ignore the ‘honey’ I called her earlier, we just tease ourselves a lot.”
Zainab was a smart lady and didn’t entirely believe what E.A just said, so she kept quiet and patiently waited for some kind of confirmation. The confirmation eventually came, as E.A’s sister opened her mouth to talk. “Wait a minute,” she said turning to E.A, “is this by any chance the Zainab you’ve been giving me headache for? Telling me about her every second?” E.A was embarrassed, he was blushing, “first of all, I don’t talk about her that often and yes, this is Zainab.” “Yes , you talk about her too much, anyway,” she turned back to Zainab, “I’m sorry for my rude attitude earlier on, just that in this hood, we get strange visitors often and the only way to deal with them is being rude.” Zainab just smiled in response, she wasn’t entirely convinced yet. E.A’s sister then stretched her hand for a hand shake and said, “I’m Diana by the way.” And that did the trick that was the confirmation she had been waiting for, E.A had mentioned the name, Diana, to her a couple of times, “oh, so you are the Diana?” She asked.
“I don’t really like the way you make it sound but yes I am, so are you going to shake my hand or would I have to fry akara for you first?” Diana asked jokingly, or maybe she was serious. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” Zainab replied and took the hand. “I guess you already know me so no need for introduction.” “Yeah, so why don’t you come in? Or you are still admiring the staircase?” “I don’t think I’ll be able to…” Zainab was about to decline when Diana cut in. “If you say no, I’ll have to drag you in,” she said. “We aren’t exactly in talking terms at the moment,” E.A whispered into Diana ears. “Good, you just gave me another reason to make sure she comes in,” Diana replied, then turned to Zainab, “so I’m I going to have to drag you in or would you make it easy for the both of us?” Zainab just smiled and walked pass Diana and E.A into the house, she knew her way around so she went straight to the sitting room and sat on the couch. E.A joined her few minutes later and they both stared at each other in silence. Diana went to the bedroom and after five straight minutes of consistent noise making, she finally came out fully dressed to go out. “E.A, I wanna assume you guys would be needing a lot of privacy since you obviously have a lot to talk about so I’ll be on my way.
I won’t come home tonight so don’t expect me, so for crying out loud, don’t blow this opportunity,” she turned to Zainab and smiled, “I now see why he likes you so much, you are almost as beautiful as me,” Diana replied and walked out of the house leaving both Zainab and E.A laughing uncontrollably. “Your sister is really funny and nice, you know?” Zainab said after they were done with laughing. “Yeah, I know, she is the only sibling I got. After my parents gave birth to her, they decided to start using condoms,” E.A replied mischievously. “At least your case is better, I’ve told you about my family right?” “Not really, all I know is that they are all based at Canada,” E.A replied. “Well, I have two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister, after I finished schooling, I was the only one who decided to come back to Nigeria, my brother decided to work for my dad in his company and my junior sis just stays at home and grows fat,” Zainab said pitiful. E.A smiled, “I guess I’m kind of better off than you.” “Yeah, you are.”
A brief silence followed. Even though he was supposed to be mad at Zainab, he just couldn’t really stay mad at her, he liked her too much and with her sitting beside him at the moment, he felt the urge to do something crazy. Zainab on the other hand felt the same way but as the lady, she didn’t think it would be right to make the first move, so she decided to give him a sign, “E.A I’m sorry,” she started, “I don’t really know what I did that hurt you the most but for whatever it is, I’m really sorry,” she paused before adding, “and I need you……back.” E.A was having a mental crises and weight his options, what could be the possible worst thing that could happen if he does what his mind tells him to do, Zainab would probably just walk out of the house, he concluded that it was worth the risk. As Zainab silently waited for a response, E.A leaned over and pecked her, then he quickly withdrew and stared deeply in her eyes, waiting to see what would happen next. Then it happened. Zainab leaned over and kissed him back, and before they could say “Jack Bauer” they were tossing and turning, kissing like teenagers who just found love for the first time. Like magic, Zainab top flew from her body and E.A’s shirt disappeared too, the Zainab’s bra and skirt somehow found their way out of her body. By the time E.A carried her to the bedroom, they were both naked and well… I think everyone knows what happened next *wink*.
It was already 8:45PM when the ringing of Zainab’s phone woke her up from a short sleep, she couldn’t feel her legs as E.A had done a good job, so she rolled and picked up her phone which was on the floor beside the bed, she had no idea how the phone got there. “Hello,” she reluctantly said. “Hey! Hi, this is Barrister Boniface, I just called to tell you that a court date has been fixed for Richard trial.” “Good, so when is the date?” Zainab asked excitedly. “Tomorrow by 2PM,” he replied. Zainab was surprised, “so fast?” “Yeah, I happen to know a few people,” Boniface replied, feeling pompous. “Okay, email me other details.” “Okay, I’ll do that, but brace yourself, the case isn’t going to be as easy as we thought. Your husband hired Barrister Anthony Okoli and they seem to have some sort of new witness who claims he knows everything that happened, and he has proofs,” Boniface replied unsure of himself. “Hmmm, who is Barrister Okoli and who is this new witness?” “Barrister Okoli is one of the best lawyers to come from this country and I’m not sure but I think the new witness is a certain Doctor… Doctor Daniel or something like that,” Boniface replied. “We have the tape, and our own witness of our own, so I guess we just have to wait till tomorrow.” Zainab replied, she sounded unsure too.
“I’ll email you the full details right away, time would tell,” Boniface replied and hung up. *** The court room was filled to the brim, someone would have thought it was the Michael Jackson child molestation case with Gavin Arvizo that was being re-tried. The court made it clear that no camera would be allowed into the court room, so most TV and Magazine representatives that hadn’t come with an audio recorder had to delete every file on their phone memory card so that there would be enough space on it to record the whole trial on tape. Richard sat at one end on the court room in a customed cubicle that was designed to restrain his movement. He had a sober and confused look, he was still trying to understand why so many people had come to witness the trial and how they even found out about it. “Bloggers,” he sighed. “If only they can all blog about things that matter.” At the other side of the court room was Zainab and of course, Boniface – her lawyer. Zainab looked quite attractive in her grey coloured plain top and a blue pencil jean. “
So I got your email yesterday and noticed that you filed a three count case. I’m aware of the stolen car issue, the supposed attempted murder so what’s the third count?” Zainab asked. “Do you remember what happened five years ago, about a week after you married Richard?” Zainab looked confused. “Not really, what has that got to do with this case?” “Well you sacked your manager for stealing two million naira from your account without any reasonable excuse.” Boniface paused for second, he knew Zainab won’t take what he was about to say lightly. “Well, I have reasons to believe that Richard is the person who actually stole it and he used the money to establish his own video company.” Zainab face turned red in anger, “that bastard!” she cursed. Jummy sat right behind Zainab with John and Samuel by her side, she tried her best to say nothing. The noisy atmosphere became as quiet as a grave yard as the presiding judge, in person of Judge Oditah Fidelis walked in to the court room from his chambers and the court staff screamed, “Court rise!” Everyone in the court room stood up as the watched Oditah walked to his seat which was directly at the front of the whole court room. As soon as he sat down, everyone in the court room sat down too.
The court staff then went ahead to announce the case that was about to be tried to the public and confirmed the presence of everyone that had something to do with it. “Mr Richard, you have heard all you are charge for, what’s your plea? Guilty or not guilty?” Judge Oditah asked. “Not guilty, your Honour,” Richard replied. “I want to believe you are aware of the consequence if you are eventually found guilty? This court doesn’t take cases of Car theft and attempted murder lightly.” “Yes I am, and I still stand by my plea. I’m innocent your honour,” Richard replied. His face straight. “Okay then, so can I hear the opening statements please,’ the Judge finally said to Boniface. He was a fairly old man who was at the wrong side of sixty, and he was known to be a no-time-to-waste kind of Judge, the longest case he had ever tried lasted just two hours, he hoped this case would be far less than that. Boniface adjusted his tie, and placed his wig properly on his head before he stood up. Judge Oditah was irritated by his Boniface gesture, he had no time to waste and this silly barrister was adjusting his wig. “Do you want to comb your hair too?” Oditah asked and the whole court roared in laughter, even Zainab’s lip curved into a smile. “No, your honour, I was just…”
“Oh! Keep your just to yourself and tell me what I want to hear, why should I send this young man over here to prison,” Oditah cut in. “As you please your honour.” Boniface cleared his throat and walked to the front of the court room, he faced the audience and started. “My fellow Nigerians, we are all here not because we have nothing to do with our precious time or because we just love being in courts. But we are here to prove that this man,” Boniface pointed to Richard, “Mr Richard Anderson, has taken the law into his hand and knowing broken a long list of laws. Firstly, he attempted to murder his wife in cold blood and when that didn’t work he went ahead to steal her car and if he hadn’t been caught red handed, he probably would have gone…” “Objection! False charge, my client to be considered innocent of all charges until he is proven guilty,” Tony who had been sitting and listening in silences stood up and scream. “Objection sustained,” Oditah said and turned to Boniface, “you heard the man, please let’s stick to things that are already proven.” “Okay your honour.” Boniface replied and then faced the crowed to continue, “I have reasons to believe that Mr Richard Anderson is also responsible for the missing two million naira that led to the wrongful sacking of Zainab’s manger five years ago.
Are we going to let this man go scot free and give him the chance to make Mrs Zainab Anderson life a living hell? And maybe when he is done with her, he might look for a second prey which might be our friends or love ones?” Boniface asked and gave a puppy face, “No!!!” about half of the whole court roared. “I didn’t think so too.” Boniface then turned to Oditah, “that my case your honour.” Oditah nodded and let Boniface return to his seat before he looked at Tony, “your opening statement.” Tony, a smart looking man of thirty. Without wasting much time, he stood up and went to the front of the court room. Tony cleared his throat and began speaking, “In all my years of service as a lawyer, I haven’t seen any case that is as ridiculous at this one, and in my humble opinion, I’ll say it’s just a waste of this court’s valuable time. And these are my reasons. My client, Mr Richard, is being charged with a case of attempted murder all because of someone recorded a forged tape and placed it in her house. How can we even be sure that the prosecutors aren’t responsible for placing the evidence there?
Okay, let’s say that’s true and we let it pass. How can you possibly think that Mr Richard who is a well-known producer and a wealthy one at that would steal just two million naira from his own wife? Doesn’t that sound really stupid? And finally, he is charged with grand theft auto all because of two people had been tortured or maybe bribed to say so,” Tony paused and turned to the judge, “your honour, this case is obviously a waste of your precious time and I request that its being adjourned. Thank you,” Tony replied and walked to his seat slowly. Judge Oditah had a comical way of judging each case, he always took a jotter and a pen to court and after each round of, he rate them and give them scores. So as Tony went to sit down he picked up a pen and wrote in his jotter: Prosecutor – 0 Defendant – 1 This simply meant that Tony and Richard had won the first round. He kept a straight face and turned Boniface, “your witness please.” He said. Boniface adjusted his suit and wig once again before standing up, then went to the front of the court, “the first witness on my list is miss Jumoke Olukoya, if you are here can you please walk up to witness box?” Jummy stood up immediately, and in the process nearly pushing the table at her front to the floor.
She walked to the witness box glaring at Richard who purposely avoided her glare. The court staff then walked up to Jummy, “are you a Christian, Muslim or atheist?” “Christian,” Jummy replied. He gave her a bible, “can you please place your right hand on the bible and repeat after me?” Jummy did as she was told. “I Miss Jummy Olukoya,” Jummy repeated after him. “Do swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” The court administrator then walked away as Boniface walked toward Jummy. “Miss Jumoke, how are you feeling?” He asked. “I’m good,” Jummy paused and then added, “I think.” “You think? Why aren’t you sure?” “Well, I dunno, maybe because after all Richard had done to Zainab, he still stands here and opens his dirty mouth to deny it all.” Jummy said with disgust. “What do you mean by ‘deny it?’ Where you there when he committed any of the crimes he committed?” Boniface asked. “I don’t have to catch him red handed, I know Zainab and I know Richard, I’ve been a family friend since like forever and I know what they can both do.
The evidence against Richard says it all. At least, I was the one who found the tape,” Jummy said. Boniface face brightened, “speaking of tape, I’ll like to submit before the court, evidence number one,” Boniface walked to his table and picked up the I pod from his suitcase and offered it to the court administrator, who then handed it over to Judge Oditah. “In that I pod, is a recorded conversation where Mr Richard instructed someone to kill Zainab. The voice has been run through our data base and it has been proven to be Richard’s voice without any reasonable doubt.” Boniface explained and handed over a report with the federal government stamp which proved his claim. Judge Oditah nodded in approval, it seemed like Boniface had done his homework. He switched on the IPod and played it and listened to the contents. “What’s funny Dr. Dan?” “This wife of yours which you despise so much isn’t dead, and I’m so sure when I resuscitate and stabilise her, she would still divorce you.” “No! She can’t wake up, kill her now!” “I’m done killing for you! You need to be taught a lesson.” As soon as the Judge was done listening to it, he shrugged, “So where is this Dr. Dan now? Don’t you think he has some questions to answer too?” And that was when it all became crystal clear to Boniface. His source had told him Richard had brought a secret witness known as Daniel and in this tape, a Daniel was being called. Two Daniels in one case. “Coincidence? Nah, I think not.” Boniface murmured to himself. He had a perfect idea.