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.
"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 with every step she took. She was scared of what she had said and more scared of what would happen if Joana found out.
"We can't tell Joana." She said finally.
"Huh?" Margret said. Grace stopped to listen too.
"We can't tell Joana what happened this night. She will hate me if she finds out what I said. Please."
"Oh Ju," Margret said putting an arm around her. June started sobbing immediately after, resting her head on Margret's shoulder.
"Don't worry Ju, we won't say anything," Margret reassured then looked at Grace who wasn't sure if she should comfort her friend or disappear.
'It's all my fault!' Her mind kept telling her. She should have kept her fantasies to herself. She should have stayed clear of the new girl. Everyone was right, after all, Veronica was bad news and they had learned that the hard way.
* * *
John had decided to walk Joana home after a not so great dinner which marked a not so memorable second anniversary. Joana after agreeing to let go of her worries and have fun couldn't help but snap herself back into her anxiety. She wasn't herself for most of the night and the only thing that blocked John's anger was the fake smile he wore on his face.
"I'm so sorry for tonight John. You made it perfect but I ruined everything." She said as they got to her house.
"Nah, it's okay." He lied.
"Yeah, you care about your friends and that's what I love about you."
"Awww, thanks, baby." She said beaming a smile which he returned.
An awkward silence stirred up between them until Joana spoke again.
"So, we should call it a night I guess. Bye."
John raised a brow.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
"Oh!" Joana said then leaned forward to kiss him on the cheek and tapped it lightly. "I want your lips but you know my parents could be watching from inside."
"Not that silly. I meant my jacket."
"Oh, this." She said admiring the blue jacket she wore on her dress. John had given it to her because of the cold as he escorted her home. "Can't I keep it for tonight? Please."
"Please na, I love the smell. Please." She begged with a cute face she was sure that he couldn't resist.
"Alright, you can keep it."
"Yay!" She exclaimed in triumph and hugged him. "It's late. You should start heading home now." She said after letting go.
"Yeah, I should." He replied. "Goodnight. I'll text you when I get home."
"Okay, Goodnight," Joanna replied. She watched him as he walked far down the already quiet street before she turned to go into her house.
As she got in, she heard a clanging noise of utensils in the kitchen. She paused at first.
"Why would mum want to cook at this time." She said to herself. She decided to check it out but found her dad instead.
"Daddy, what are you doing here?"
Gabriel, her father was a man of fifty. He had an average height which both his two daughters inherited and small brown eyes. Sprinkles of grey hair scattered all over his round head. He was checking if the pot soup on the stove was hot enough to eat but almost dropped the pot lid he held in his hand at her voice.
"Joana, you are back." He said smiling. "So how was dinner? Hope you had fun?"
"It was fine daddy." She replied, the level of suspicion not dropping from her face. "Why are you in the kitchen?"
"Why would I be in the kitchen if not because I am hungry and I want to eat."
"Yeah, I know but why isn't mummy doing this for you."
"Well, your mother is tired from today's work and I didn't want to stress her any further."
"Just to make eba and warm soup? That's unlike mummy na."
"Well, today was different." He said taking the pot off the stove then placed a kettle on it.
"Okay oh, if you say so... Let me help you with the eba." (1)
"No no," He said raising a hand to stop her before she came any further. "I'm sure you are tired. Go and sleep."
"Are you sure you can handle it?"
"Who do you think made the meals I ate as a bachelor before I married your mother?" He asked rhetorically and smiled. "I can handle it. Go and sleep."
"Okay, daddy... Is June home yet?" She asked.
"Yes, she came not too long before you."
"Okay, goodnight sir," Joana said finally and started walking towards her room.
"Goodnight dear," Gabriel replied.
June was on the bed operating her phone when Joana walked in.
"Hey," June said.
"Hey," Joanna replied. She walked to her bed and sat to take off her heels.
"How was your dinner with John?"
"It was okay," She said taking off one heel. "How was the party."
"Well, it turned out that it wasn't a party after all."
Joana's eyes got.
June dropped her phone. The only way out was to lie and she saw that.
"Well, for starts, there were no friends at her house. It was just us four. Then she lied about it saying they were on their way to make us stay longer until we decided to leave."
"I said it!" Joana exclaimed. "I knew something was up with that girl but Grace wouldn't listen." She put an index finger in her mouth and bit it hard. "Oh I wish I was there, I could have broken someone's daughter's head."
"It's okay, we have yelled our own already. I'm too tired to think about that one now." She said picking up her phone and resumed her chatting.
Joana snapped her finger.
"Don't worry, we will see you on Monday."
* * *
Veronica couldn't remember what happened that night after she got to her room but she knew Grace and her friends now hated her and that something was going to happen on Monday whether she liked it or not. During the assembly she had looked at Grace who looked back then looked away, confirming her assumptions on them hating her.
'Well, I didn't need them anyway. In two weeks, I would be away from here and all this would be like it never happened. I'll be better on my own.' She thought.
After the assembly, she had gotten to her seat and brought out a crime novel to read when Joana came in front of her. She wasn't surprised.
'Her friends had told her what happened and she decided to act on their behalf.'
Veronica kept her gaze on her book and didn't bother about Joana who stood with her hands on her waist glaring at her. As time passed, she grew uncomfortable and decided to raise her head.
"What do you want?"
"So that is what you have to say right?" Joana yelled, drawing the attention of everyone. "You lying snake! Why did you invite us to a party you weren't even planning?"
Veronica didn't reply.
Soon, the other girls walked into the class and rushed up to prevent a fight from stirring up.
"Jo, it's okay," Margret said trying to pull Joana away but Joana pushed her hands away.
"No oh, she must answer first," Joanna replied. "What was your plan eh? Were you so lonely that you had to lie to get them into your home?"
Veronica remained silent and that silence only made Joana more furious.
"Can't you talk? Answer me!" She yelled.
"Joana just leaves her, she doesn't want to talk... You're just drawing a crowd with your shouting." June pleaded.
Joana looked round to see that the eyes of all her classmates were all on her. She calmed down a bit and turned back to Veronica.
"See eh, you better stay away from me and my friends. Stay on your lane. Don't walk in the same direction with any of us, don't talk to us, and don't even wave at us. Rubbish." She hissed as she walked away in anger. Her friends followed.
Veronica caught Grace staring at her then looking away before she left. She curled up her lip as she turned her attention back to her book.
1) Eba: A local dish made with processed cassava.
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
I was scared. The game came to life, Margret killed her mother's boyfriend, Grace was next and after her, I would kill my sister.I was also terrified of what would happen when Joana finds out what I did. I knew she was going to ask me what happened that night at the party immediately we got home and I couldn't help but think she would hate me forever if I did. So I decided to start avoiding her any way I could. I texted Margret and Grace that night immediately Joana confronted me in the living room begging them not to tell my sister anything yet. Margret didn't reply but I was sure to count on her.I knew I couldn't avoid her forever but I did my best to stay away from them throughout the weekend. I hung around my mum and dad mostly, knowing that she couldn't bring up the topic with them around. On Monday, I had hurriedly left the house before her even though we always walked to school together. I also couldn't bear passing through Grandpa's farm. It only brought back the images and