Veronica's POV

 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 my face. "Alright, the shovels are in there too so we're good to go. Come on." I said then beckoned on them to get in. 

"Hold on, I have to go get Stanley," Margret said. 

I frowned my brows. Who the hell takes a baby to go bury someone. 


"Well, what do you want me to do? Leave him all by himself in the house?" She said, gesticulating with her arms. 

"I don't know, can't you keep him with a neighbor or something?"

"You know we are going to a forest Ketu right?"

"But if she does people will think something is up," Grace replied quickly. "And unlike you, we are running out of lies."

I rolled my eyes back at her. 

"Fine, do whatever you want." I surrendered, stretching my hand to collect the polythene bag filled with Sylvester's regular clothes and Margret's mother's jewelry from her then got into the truck. 

The rest got in too after me and to my surprise, Grace got in the front with me. I didn't expect her to see that she was in quite a mood for her statement earlier. 

We waited until Margret came back and joined June and Joana at the back seat before we moved. 

The ride outside of town was as expected, quiet. We were all busy with our hearts in our hands, silently saying a prayer not to get caught.

Sure, we were scared. Who wouldn't be? We were driving with a dead body in broad daylight across streets with people. 

But our fears hadn't reached their peak.

Just as we got out of town, we approached a police checkpoint. This was a common thing in towns like these that were close to the border. Checkpoints were assigned at certain spots to ensure that contraband goods weren't smuggled in by Petty traders. Unfortunately, it was something I forgot to consider. 

The girls noticed too and sat up straight. The tension in the car had risen to a million. 

"Oh my God! It's the police, what do we do?" June yelled. 

What do we do? We couldn't stop and turn back all of a sudden, we were close and they would suspect something.

"Calm down," I said firmly. I wasn't calm myself. No, I was crumbling inside but I figured we had to stay composed of we didn't want any mistakes and I had to set an example. 

"June breathe. It's all going to be okay." Joana said soothing her sister. 

I stepped on the brakes to slow us down. 

"Guys we have to keep going," I said. 

"What? What if we get caught?" Margret said, clutching baby Stanley tightly. 

"We won't," I replied with my eyes watching the three officers as they scanned the vehicles that drove past. 

"This bitch is crazy," Joanna said. June remained silent. 

Grace turned to me. 

"Veronica, you need to turn this car back right now." She said placing her hands on the steering. 

"And go back to where?" I asked, "Back to Margret's house where her mom would probably be? Or maybe your house... Or June's house." I added in frustration.

"But there's got to be another way, something else we can do." She said again. 

"We could decide to wait them out till night, but by then your parents would be calling."

Grace bowed her head in defeat. 

I could tell she was tired. They all were. 

"Hey, we can do this," I said placing my hand on hers. "Trust me."

She nodded. 

I forced a smile and returned my attention to the road. 

As we approached the policemen, one of them already positioned at my side to check us signaling us to stop. 

I nodded as a gesture to greet him but he didn't seem interested at all. He held a nightstick in one hand and placed the other on his slightly protruding belly. 

He gestured with his hand to me to wind down.

"Calm down guys, I got this," I said between my teeth before I obliged.

"Good afternoon officer, any problem," I said smiling. 

He stretched his neck over to the back of the truck. I wasn't worried. I had managed to keep the body hidden in plain sight. He wouldn't know anything was there unless he checked well. And he couldn't call on his mates because they were inspecting other vehicles too. 

He turned his attention back to me. 

"Where are you girls headed?"

Easy, I thought. Lying was never my problem. 

"Uhm, my friend's baby brother isn't feeling too well so we are taking him to the hospital." 

He folded his brows. 

"All of you?"

"Hmm Hmm," I said with an affirming ton,e and from his expression, the girls were playing along too. 

"But you seem a little too young to be driving."

"Ah yes. Looks can be deceiving ain't it?" I said chuckling. "Well, I have a license here to prove am not," I added. 

The girls became dumbfounded.

I turned over to Grace's side. 

"Excuse me," I said to her as I searched the armrest compartment for my license. I was grateful for two things; that Uncle Kim always insisted my license should be in the car even if I never go out in case of emergencies and that he reminded me to change from my uniform. 

I brought out the card but not before I handed it over to him, slipped a five hundred Naira note with it. 

He got the message immediately. Lay off our backs and let us pass. 

He looked out for his colleagues to see if they were still distracted before he shoved it down his pocket. 

Dad was right, money is the answer to all things. And seeing that this man has been standing in the sun all day, I was doing him a favor. 

He gave the license a glance of two then handed them back to me.

"Alright then. You girls have a nice day." He said finally, showing off his full set of browny teeth. 

"Thank you, sir," I replied then winded back up.

We all let out sighs of relief as we left the checkpoint. Smiles were written all over the girl's faces as we drove on to the forest. Especially on Grace's. 

I had vindicated myself, I thought.

I had noticed the forest on the first day Uncle Kim drove me to Ketu town. It seemed quiet and uninhabitable for civilized individuals so I figured it was the best place to bury Sylvester.

I circled the forest three times to ensure no one was hanging around. There was none so we picked a spot and started digging. 

We were five girls with three shovels and It took an hour and a half for us to dig a grave deep enough to contain Sylvester's body and the things I got from Margret.

It wasn't an easy task. There was panting, groaning, and coughing from the dust that choked us as we dug deeper. But we did it finally and suffered the same fate covering up the body too. 

"It's all over." I said as we all stared at the ground, "He is gone and none of us will mention what happened today to anyone." 

I turned to them sounding more serious this time. 

"Not to our parents or friends or boyfriends. Got it?"

They all nodded except Margret who was still staring. 

"Margret," I yelled waking her up. "Do you grab?"

"Yes, Of course."

We all went back home that day thankful that we weren't in Jail. I had dropped everyone at their houses before I went to mine. 

"How did everything go?" Uncle Kim asked me as I walked in. He seemed to be in the same position as when Grace and I left him. 

"It went well. Thanks for the keys... and for everything else." I said smiling at him. 

He returned one and nodded. 

"I'll be in my room," I said going up to my room.

Ever since I moved to Ketu, my parents and I spoke through video calls once in a while but as a result of their busy schedule, we agreed to talk always on Friday evenings. On getting to my room, I quickly turned on my laptop to start up the call.

"Ekaale Mummy." (1)I said immediately my mother's face popped up on the screen. 

"Ekaale Omo mi. How have you been."(2)

"Am fine mummy... Where is daddy?" I asked, not seeing his presence anywhere.

"Darling, he his busy in a meeting right now."

"Exactly, he's always busy when it comes to family."

"Don't talk like that. You know all he does is to secure a stable future for you."

I shrugged at her statement. 

"Yeah, sure."

There was an awkward silence between us for a while before mummy spoke again. 

"Well, I just can't wait to have you back soon. Hope everything is alright over there?"

"Yes, ma." I smiled. 

I didn't think I was wrong. 

Margret was going to tell her mother what we had rehearsed, that Sylvester left town with her money and belongings. No one was ever going to find out especially in a country where few questions are asked. It was the perfect murder cover-up.

I on my end was looking to let everything slide as my one month was already coming to an end. But it turned out that things were just getting started, beginning with an act I tagged as an ungrateful betrayal.



(1) Good evening mummy.

(2) Good evening my child.

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