"Joana!" John called softly from the end of the chair where he sat opposite Joana.
He had taken her to a fast food restaurant- the same place they had special dates like Valentine's day and birthdays. It wasn't too much for a small town but Joana seemed to like the food there so they always went there. Ever since they got there, she seemed lost in her thoughts and oblivious of everything else that was going on.
'What's going on with her.' He thought as he watched her. Her eyes were fixed on the menu she held in her hands. He called her name again.
"What?" She said taking her eyes off the menu.
"What are you ordering?" He said with a concerned look in his eyes.
"This man has been standing here for a minute now waiting for you. What are you ordering?"
Joana's attention came back immediately as she saw the man standing impatiently by her side.
"Oh my God! I'm so sorry... Just give me what he is having."
The waiter shot a glare at her which she wasted no time to return. He then rolled his eyes before fuming back to the kitchen. Joana hissed as soon as he got far from their table then turned back to John.
"I'm so sorry."
"We are regulars in this place, you should know the menu like the back of your palm by now."
"Yeah, I should. I just got distracted."
"Exactly," John said sitting up. "Your mind hasn't been with you since we left your place. What's going on."
John raised a brow in suspicion. Joanna sighed.
"I'm just- I'm worried."
"My friends. I don't trust that Veronica girl."
"Oh, come on Jo. I'm sure they can take care of themselves. Don't worry about it." He paused to study her reaction. "Look, if they were here, they'll want you to have fun and not worry about them, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"See, so what do you say?" He said with a bright smile. Joana forced one in reply.
"Let's have fun."
* * *
It was a quarter past 8 and the game was already getting interesting with Margret kicking it off. The drinks and snacks were still passed around and for a while, no one worried about the number of problems Veronica's party was having.
"Oh well... So who's next?" Margret had asked.
"Me," Grace said. She didn't want to go first until she had a clear idea about who she wanted dead.
The others readjusted their sitting positions, eager for her story to begin.
"You guys remember Raymond right?"
"Who?" Veronica asked.
"He's a jerk who once came to our school, now he goes to Lakeville," June answered.
"You see two years ago when we just got into SS1, even before then, Raymond was my best friend. And I had become friends with these babes after what he did. This happened around the time when boys in our set started to see using girls and bragging about it after they had gotten what they wanted like a big boy thing to do."
She took a sip from her cup then continued.
"Raymond had wanted to join those guys badly, but he couldn't do what they did with any girl because he was shy, too shy and I was the only girl who spoke to him back then. So our wanna be bad guy decides one day that he had something to tell me alone in the classroom. I followed him and it turns out he wanted to kiss me. I refused, kicked his balls, and ran off. But this guy told everyone a different story of how much of Slut I was and how I practically begged for every dirty thing he did to me. And since that day that was the name, I carried around the school. No one believed my story except these girls."
Veronica gave her a sorry look in her eyes.
"I plan on killing him by making up plans with him so that we could have the fun he never did back then, specifically a place with a pool in it. I'll slip metamorphose into his drinks while we cruise on the water and once the drug kicks in, his whole body will become paralyzed. I'll watch as he suffocates and drowns without any effort to save himself, just like how I couldn't do anything when he said those things about me. The end."
They all applauded her.
"Smart, if he died of something natural it wouldn't lead to you," Margret said, noting her own mistake.
"True, but you didn't get rid of the body and he was last seen with you," Veronica said immediately after Margret. "The question people would ask is why didn't you try to save him or call for help when he was drowning?"
They all marveled at her answer. She had one twice now.
"So June, it's your turn."
All these while she had been silent because she knew her turn was going to come. And unlike all of them, she didn't have anyone in mind to kill in cold blood.
"Uhm, I think I'll pass."
"What! No, it's getting interesting." Grace said.
"Okay, let her go first," June said gesturing to Veronica.
"No dear, am the host." Veronica winked.
June remained stubborn.
"Then I'll pass."
"Oh baby, are you scared?" Margret asked.
June went weak.
"No, it's not that... I don't have anyone who had done something so bad to me that I would want to kill."
"Awww, you read the rules yourself dear, it's just make-believe." Grace tried to assure her.
"But still you guys had solid reasons for yours. I don't have any and I don't think I have the stomach for murder, even if it's an imaginary one."
Veronica quickly gulped what was left in her cup, tossed it aside, and went over to where June sat, swinging her arm over her shoulder.
"Come in June, before you give up thinking about it for a sec. There must be someone that must have robbed you of something, an opportunity, a privilege, anything. You just have to find that person."
Veronica's words sent June into a little deep thinking and smiles were spreading across their faces. June finally thought of something but didn't know what the others would think.
"Well, I always wondered what life would have been like if I was an only child." She said wincing at her words.
Grace and Margret were shocked by what June had said but from Veronica's expression, she approved and it was too late to say anything.
"Wooo! Cold, I like it!" Veronica shouted and returned to her position.
"Don't get me wrong guys it's not like am living in constant hate and jealousy over my twin but I always imagined what it would be like without her, not having to share anything with anyone and not being reminded how much of a screw up I am by someone with the same genes as me who has perfect grades, a perfect relationship, and perfect life. I imagined what if she has been born dead, like a stillborn." She said then gave a dramatic pause. "There is a huge freezer at the back of my grandfather's chicken farm where he preserved the slaughtered stock. It has been abandoned for a while since he passed away but Joana loves passing that route anytime she was heading home alone. I would trap her in the freezer and she would freeze to death..."
June didn't say anything afterward. She appeared to be frozen herself. Her friends didn't know what to say either.
"Wow," Veronica said clapping "absolutely stunning! And nothing is tracking you back to the crime."
No one said anything. Grace and Margret wondered if it was their friend who said she did. Something told Veronica that whatever happens after that night won't be the same for them again. But it was just a game, right? They were all pretending.
'Yes but our lust for excitement has driven them to consider their friendship with one another. Because that's what we do, cause and create havoc!'
"Fuck you!" She had cursed silently at the voice in her head. She had to fix what she had done, or at least lighten up the mood a little.
"Well, I guess it's my turn... Or should we stop? I see the mood has changed here."
Grace needed something to take her mind off what she heard too. They couldn't stop now.
"Well I guess if I was to kill someone, it would be--" Veronica stopped at the realization of the name her mind kept calling, Hers.
Why would she want to kill herself? She loved her life. Fine, maybe there were some downs, but that was never any reason for anyone to off themselves. She kept giving herself reasons why she was wrong and her head was starting to hurt. Just then the voice inside her spoke up, more firm this time.
'You don't see the picture here so you? You are a sick lying pathetic little girl who everyone will desert as soon as they find out you are. Your parents realized that early and shipped you off to this dead town... You think they would let you come back?'
Veronica rubbed her fingers around her forehead to soothe the sharp throb she felt.
"You're wrong. It's just for a month."
The girls became alarmed instantly.
"Are you okay?" Grace asked with worry.
'No darling, nobody wants to see you again, not even your friends. And by the time they find how you have been lying to them from the beginning, they will leave you too and you'll be all alone, isolated, just like I always wanted. You'll wish you were dead by then.'
"No, you're lying!" She got to her feet. "I can't."
They became puzzled.
"What? What about the game?" Margret asked.
"Oh no, it's not!" June glared. "Not after I just had a fantasy about killing my sister!"
She sprang up and pulled Veronica back. The rest got to her feet too.
"Where do you think you are going?" June demanded.
Grace and Margret tried to calm her down.
"I-The party is over." Veronica stammered. "I need to lie down."
"The party is over?" Grace asked rhetorically. She glanced at her watch. The time was nine o'clock and just then she had an awful realization. "Your friends aren't coming, are they?"
Veronica didn't answer.
"Bitch!" Margret said furiously. "What was your goal with us before?"
She turned to Grace.
"I told you she was a bad idea didn't I?"
June became numb. The guilt of what she said eating deep into her soul. How could she say such a thing about her sister?
Veronica knew it was all over, her schemes were done and once again she found a way to ruin everything. Her head was pounding now and she was tired. Slowly she freed the piece of her top that was held loosely by June's fingers. Remaining silent and not minding what the girls do after, she retreated upstairs to her room.
June remained motionless. Margret looked at Grace with dread eyes.
Grace drove her hand around the top of braids down to her neck.
What have I done!
Grace, June, and Margaret let themselves out of Veronica's house that night. None of them thought about going up to check on Veronica, they were all busy wondering about what happened and what it meant. As they trekked home in silence, Margret was angry that she allowed herself to believe Grace's preaching on wanting to do something exciting before Graduation. "What the hell was all that?" Margret asked Grace after she couldn't bear the silence. "Was that the excitement you were yapping about all these while?"Grace didn't know what to reply, she was busy being sorry she led her friends into whatever was going on."I-I don't know." She said."You don't know? We just told that bitch our deep dark desires and you're saying you don't know?" Margret raised her voice."I'm sorry."Margret scoffed."Sure you are... Just so you know, whatever happens from here on, it's all on you." She said pointing a finger at Grace's face.June was the worst of all of them. She could feel herself shaking
Margret felt a tad bit hazy as she woke up. She had no idea why she had a kink in her neck. She rose a little, supporting herself with an elbow and massaging her neck with her other hand. Struggling to open her eyes, she wondered why couldn't feel her pillow, or why her bed felt hard like the floor, and why her shirt felt soaked. Slowly, she opened her eyes to a shocking realization. The cold eyes of a lifeless Sylvester staring back at her! She became fully awake instantly. Sickened by a pool of blood all over her, she quickly jumped to her feet, tossing the stretched arm of the body wayward. She started walking backward, her steps in sync with the rhythm her pounding heart was making till she reached the bookshelf separating her from the wall. Immediately, images began flashing to her head, and the pounding in her chest increased with every horror she saw. The horror of what she had done. * * *It was very unlikely for Margret to ever miss school. She was the most serious st
The ride to Veronica's had been a silent one. Grace had nothing to say to her and neither did she. And she understood why they were all angry at her. She had lied from the very beginning and now it seemed like everything that was happening was her fault. She knew that Grace had been keeping a close eye on her since that night, and she had used it to her advantage, acting loose so she could figure out what they would do next. She wasn't expecting a dead body when she trailed the girls from school to Margret's house, but she had hoped that this would help take some of the guilt away but it was clear from Grace's expression that that wasn't going to happen.Veronica didn't bother calling Hakeem, he was always at home although often left the house when she was around to give her space. She was counting on the former and it was indeed so. "Veronica, what are you doing home by this time? The game is over?" Hakeem asked as Veronica and Grace barged into the living room. He threw a curious
"Oh, my God Jo what have you done?!" Margret yelled staring at Francis's motionless body on the floor. Joana dropped the remainder of the broken vase in her hand."I-I don't know, I panicked." She stammered. "I thought were going to be caught... I can't go to prison." She started pacing back and forth a few steps, trying to catch her breath. Just then she remembered the front door was still open. She quickly closed it shut, turning the key in its mouth to make sure it stays closed. They all went silent. She might have saved them there, but it was only momentarily. And it could go worse from there. "Is he dead?" June asked sending Joana into action as Margret and her watch. She bent down towards Francis, reach for his upper neck with two fingers, looking to feel a pulse. While she did she held her breath in a short prayer as the story of her life flashed before her eyes. Lord knows how she did her best to stay away from trouble. She only wanted to be happy, grow up to be a fulfille
We had gathered all we needed to bury Sylvester's body. Margret had called her mother explaining to her that everything was fine. Everything was going according to plan. You might probably be wondering how a cute little rich Nigerian girl like me could come to have all of these ideas. It's simple. Back when I was younger, when all the other girls were engaging their fantasies with romance novels, I was a fan of murder mysteries. I read stories, watched movies, studied cases, and analyzed all of them. And don't get me wrong, I still had friends and I had fun. It was a weird hobby to my parents but it never stopped me from getting the materials I needed to continue. Who would have thought it would come in handy?It took our combined efforts to carry the folded rug outside to the back of the truck. I stood in front, peering my head out the door to see if the coast was clear before staggered out and dropped the body with a thud."Phew!" I exclaimed wiping off the sweat that gathered in
I got home that evening to find my mum waiting for me on the couch. I had frozen at the glimpse of her figure that was barely revealed by the dimly lit room. "Where have you been?" She asked coldly. "I was with my friend's ma," I answered as I walked into view of the room and tried my best to avoid eye contact as I did. "Since? And you took Stanley with you?" She yelled springing to her feet. I was tired, I was frustrated and most of all I was in shock. I was used to her shouting, her usual way of dealing with her stress was transferring her aggression from work to me. But I couldn't take it now, not this night. "And who was I supposed to keep him with? No one else was at home.""What about Sylvester?"Veronica had made me rehearse what I would tell my mum over and over during the ride back home. It was supposed to happen while she was relaxed and calm, the direct opposite of what was going on. Oh well, no time like the present, I thought."He is gone, mother! Your boyfriend aban
What do you do after buying a dead body?For me, I went back to my quiet little apartment. No parents. They died five years ago and the closest person I had as a guardian was my elder brother who was barely around due to the nature of his job. Efe, my brother was a journalist and you couldn't make it being a journalist in a small boring town like Ketu so he moved around a lot in search of bigger stories. On getting home, I quickly heated the noodles I had made earlier that morning before heading for school and headed straight for my bed. I did my best not to think about anything that happened as I ate quietly that night. We weren't caught. I'd sleep it off and by tomorrow I would be over it. Just then, my phone vibrated from a text. 'Hey, how u holding up?'It was an unknown number. I sat up, wondering who it could be. My phone beeped again. 'It's Veronica'It only increased my curiosity. 'How did you get my number?' I asked. 'I have my ways' She replied with a winking emoji.
I was pretty much pissed that night. Or maybe with filled mixed feelings. But I knew I was pissed. I was now stuck in the middle of a situation I never wanted. Veronica was bad news and I had that feeling from the beginning but I never pictured having to deal with a dead body afterward. If only Grace had listened when I told her. I was mad at her for that. Thank God we weren't caught, I thought as June and I trekked to our house that night. We knew our parents would still be at the store by that time so we weren't bothered about having to lie about anything. Thank God we weren't caught. I didn't know about my friends but I already had my life planned ahead of me. After graduation, I'd leave the town to go study Medicine at UNN and after spending seven years there, go on to further my masters and get my Ph.D. and finally become a certified medical doctor. I couldn't screw it up when I hadn't even barely begun. How the hell did we even get here? The girls had barely said anything whe