He was on his knees with his head bowed, his
eyes were closed and lips were moving.
She was seated, her palms were closed before
her, head bowed and lips were moving.
They had just listened to a live gospel telecast.
Eventually, they were through with their
‘Communication with God is the best because
it gives you …’ Osagie began.
‘Peace that passeth all understanding. ‘ Osagie
and Hester chorused .
‘Hey! How did you know that is what I am
going to say?’ He questioned with a smile.
‘I feel same too, besides, I read my Bible
‘Okay then, complete this for me, the …’ He
was interrupted by a knock on the door.
They exchanged looks taken aback.
He stood and head for the door. It was
Mwihaki day off. He opened it and they came
Osagie was shocked.
They were dangerously looking, properly
dressed, they were three out of the mob
Hester stood instantly and her heart sank.
The one that took the lead into the room
produced a gun. Even before he did, she knew
they were all armed.
‘Good morning …’ He had taken in the room as
soon as he stepped in. He looked at the wall
clock ahead of him. ‘I am sorry, good
afternoon. ‘ He smiled.
Dangerous ones who exhibited self control and
humor are those who took decision
spontaneously without remorse. Oh God … she
wished she could do something more than just
standing rooted. She looked around in a swift.
‘Good afternoon, how may I help you? ‘ Osagie
met his gaze. If he did have any fear, it wasn’t
‘I like you bro, cutting to the chase. We are
here for her …and her alone. ‘
His eyes was squinted when he glanced back at
her Hester, he saw the plea in her eyes and
how she trembled. He got the link.
Hester got hers when they entered, she knew
they were Nigerians.
‘You are here for her, Why? ‘
‘She is a missing treasure, she needs to be
returned to her base.
‘That is not possible, absolutely impossible! ‘
She saw smirk on the faces of his companies.
‘Os… Osagie, please let me go.’ She stepped
forward foreseeing trouble.
‘No Hester, you are not going anywhere!’ His
voice was authoritative as he pushed her
Oh God please… she prayed in her mind. She
was already sweating .
‘Mister, you shouldn’t say that because she is
coming with us. We are not leaving without
‘I wish I could ask you guys to take seat but
you will be waiting to no avail. ‘
He looked down at the gun he was holding and
pat it fondly.’You are joking with an authority
you cannot stand face to face with. ‘
‘And whose is that? ‘ Osagie tilted his head.
‘Unfortunately, I am not here to exchange
words like two market women. ‘ He sighed and
glanced at the wall clock.
‘Osaz please …please let me go.’ She spoke and
Using a leg, he tilted the centre table with such a force that it landed on its side. She was standing between the longest sofa and the center table. ‘I am serious Hester.’ His
look was like nothing she had seen
‘Dialogue is over, go get her! ‘
Two stepped forward to carry to out the order
but Osagie was before them.
They looked at their boss for further
‘She is not going anywhere, she is not leaving
this place!’ Osagie meant every word because
he knew once she left, a thousand and one
could happen to her before he found her, that is if
he ever did.
‘Please Osaz, please dear, do let me go.’ Her
palms were opened before her. ‘I beg you.’
‘I will be furious if you leave that place, don’t
make me angry.’ He was already angry, angry
that she was distracting and opposing him.
Didn’t she know the implication of going with
Her spirit sank lower.
‘I now see how serious you are.’ His look was
baleful. ‘Unfortunately, I don’t have time. ‘ He
cocked the gun and then shot.
‘Jesus! ‘ For a split second, her heart beat
stopped and her mind black out.
The sound echoed.
She leapt over the table straight to his side,
she knelt and ease his head to her lap, ‘Jesus
Christ! ‘ She screamed with tears rolling down
her face. A look at the bullet wound on the
left side of his chest confirmed her fear …it
was not a matter of ambulance, paramedics,
emergency Ward, major surgery, it had hit a
major artery. Knowledge …she knew it too well
but she wasn’t to give up. She folded her shawl
and place it over the wound.
‘Oh God please …Osaz please, I am sorry …’
she rocked him as she wept. ‘Oh God please …
please …please …help him …help me …please. ‘
Hester raised him up and sobbed. Her body
knotted in pain.
Her eyes flickered opened, she look down at
him with blurred vision.
He reached up to touched her face and wiped
‘Yes dearie …’ Her lips trembled.
‘Take care of y …you.’
‘I will Sweetie, it’s not all about me, it is about
you. Oh Osaz please …’
He touched her lips. ‘I … I love …’ His hand
Hester let out a heart piercing scream. ‘No! No
…darling …no! ‘ She wailed heart broken.
‘Go get her.’ He had enough of the emotional
He bent to pull her up. She sent her fist flying
and it landed on his jaw.
He staggered back bent over, when he
eventually lifted his face, they saw blood.
She eased him to the floor, closed his eyes and
placed him in a supine position. She pecked
him on the cheek and her tears fell on his
face. She wiped it off and gave him a final
They watched her and said nothing. Their
leader decided to wait for her.
She went back to her room, one followed but stopped at the door. She
changed her cloth, gather some of her
important items in a mini suitcase. She wrote a
note for Ethel amidst sobbing, by the time she
was done, the paper was soaked with tears.
When she came out, she stooped beside him to
take a parting memory, he was gone never to
be like before again. One realisation made her
heart glow amidst the darkness that now engulf
her, their PRAYERS.
May you find peace in the bosom of our
Maker, she wiped her tears, stood and head
for the door without a word to them.
They followed her immediately.
They had come in two cars. She sat at the back
seat of the leading car alongside their leader. The
other followed suit.
‘You woudnt believe how it all went?’ He closed
the door behind him. ‘Hello every…’ The
package he was holding slip off his hand ḁ̊η∂
shattered into a million pieces. In utter shock,
his palm came over his mouth, his gaze was
Strength completely left him as he slumped
down on his knees, his silent tears flowed. ‘
Osagie…’ It barely escaped his throat, tears
stung his eyes.
Right on his kneels, he approached what was
before him hoping that by the time he got
beside him, this obvious reality might become
his worst imagination.
‘Osagie, what happened?’ Ethel muttered as he
reached out aη∂ touched the face that was
now deathly cold. ‘Lord almighty!’ He
exclaimed. ‘Ohh…?’ He exhaled a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ sobbed
“ohh my …my brother, ℓ̊ thought was going to
die before you…’ His tears flowed. ‘What
happen to our simultaneous dreams, what
happens to the wedding we intend to have on
same day…?’ His eyes closed in agony. ‘Is this
the meaning of life…is this…lord, is this…?
My osagie is gone…you are gone…ha!’ He wept
as he bent over his body. His whole body
He head shot up as he suddenly remembered.
‘Hester!’ He called. He stood a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ took
three strides forward then realisation dawn on
him, he turned back to look at his best friend
that was never to be like before again. He
noticed his proper body positioning, his eyes
were closed, his hand were placed well, the
shawl …the shawl to prevent him from lying in
his own pool of blood.
‘Hester?’.He was on his feet, he swirled
a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ practically ran into her room.
He noticed the difference from the last time
he entered, then he saw the note which was
now softened a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ faint.
He got the message though short a̶̲̥̅̊η∂
simple, hook, line a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ sinker.
He brought his mobile phone as he got
brainstormed a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ dialled a number.
“C E O, G a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ C helicopters, who am ℓ̊ on
‘Hi pal, its Ethelbert Franklin.’
”Hey dΦn, what’s up?”
He was going to avoid a messy publicity of his
bf death as much as he could.
When he was done with calls, he retrieved the
cartridge of the camera in the sitting room.
Hester stared out of the window of the
speedily moving vehicle. It passed through the
cars, people, places, building, forests,
vegetations, a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ so on but she didn’t see
Her mind was busy…it was still a shock to her
that her bright yesterday turned out to be a
It was still a shock to her that she was under
the captivity of her most dreaded admirer.
Oh Ethelbert…how must he be feeling now?
Dear lord…did ℓ̊ do anything that disqualifies
me from being in your will?
Her eyes closed and she drifted.
They had made it a 2days journey as their boss
had instructed to breach some level of
Precious typed on the system a̶̲̥̅̊η∂
concentrated with a frown creeping into his
countenance. ‘Sir, its tight.’
Ethelbert buried his face in his palm
momentarily. Then he looked up, aη∂ glanced
at the building that was on display on all the
computer system in his control room.
‘Guys, listen up.’ Ethel eventually spoke up.
They all looked at him.
He was seated in their midst, he was more
calm than ever before aη∂ his countenance
was blank. ‘ℓ̊ don’t believe that building with
its contituent ḁ̊η∂ classic construction just
have an exit.’ He looked at one of his men who
was nearest to the projector. ‘Kalu,project the
He got to his feet immediately a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ set to
Ethel stood a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ took slow strides to the
large screen. ‘Let’s forget the whole of the
elephant a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ go for its parts.’
He worked via the electronic mouse, some
circular notation appeared on some of the
‘This is A B C… to J, based on your sitting
arrangement a part belongs to you. Dig it all
out, we’ve got five minutes. Precious worked
on the major aη∂ minor roads. Kalu,
security,and all the possibilities… ‘ He began
Supporting himself with his arms, he lowered
himself to a chair and sipped water. His eyes
not leaving the screen of Precious.
‘Precious is that a major or minor? ‘
‘Sir?’ His personal assistant called.
Ethel looked in his direction.
‘I have found an indication of an entrance, I
have tried all access, it has been denied. ‘
Ethel wheeled his chair close. ‘That is part D
He did that.
They both looked at it closely but Ethel’s
brows creased thoughtfully.
‘It is a standardized symbol and I can’t fathom
it’s meaning. ‘ Wale said.
‘I have seen that before. ‘ He narrowed his
brows and reached for the keyboard,
minimized what was on the screen, did few
typing , clicked and four similar symbols to
the earlier were displayed. Ethel smiled.
‘Sir, they are almost the same.’ He observed
and looked at him with respect .
‘Wale, that is an underground. It is coded, get
me my laptop, we will find a way around this.’
‘Yes Sir. ‘ He stood and hurried out.
Ethel stood and sat on the seat Wale vacated.
From the pavement, he saw her got out of the
car and looked around. Oladimeji face glowed
and then he laughed. ‘My baby is home!’
The Welcome smiles, the warmth they gave her
as she passed them was more of utter
‘My sweetheart! ‘ His joy knew no bound as
he helped her up. He took her in
Appalled, Hester hope she didn’t throw up.
That was the closest they had ever been.
Oladimeji touched her face. ‘How are you
doing? ‘ He asked concerned. ‘Was the journey
too stressful? ‘
She gave him the benefit of a momentary look
but made no attempt to respond.
‘I know how you feel sweetheart, the journey
was long and exhausting. You look drained.’
‘I will be looking better if your boys didn’t
smoke and drink in the car. I was sneezing and
coughing ,I attempted to jump out of the
moving car because I was suffocating.
‘What! ‘ Every display of happiness vanished as
he turned to her escorts with a fierce look.
‘Emmmm …Boss …we …we can explain. ‘ Their
leader attempted and took a step backward.
‘Explain? ‘ He scoffed. ‘Scorpion, So it is true,
you good for nothing fish? How dare you! I
entrusted my jewel in your care for just two
days and she is not worth you forgetting your habit!
What does she look like to you. You want to
contaminate my wife! ‘ Oladimeji stretched his
hand and slapped him.
The rest shuddered.
‘I’m sorry boss.’ Scorpion gave a low bow.
‘Sorry? ‘ He glared at him.’If you don’t get out
of my sight now, I will take off your head in
such a way that the vultures will be so sorry
for your corpse that won’t near it.’
Hester sneezed twice.
Oladimeji directed his attention back to her.
‘Oh baby, I am so sorry.’ He helped her to a
seat. ‘Are you alright? ‘
‘I’m fine.’ She attempted a faint smile.
They left knowing there was trouble looming
‘Are you sure? ‘ He moved a chair close.
‘Are you sure you are okay Sweetie? ‘ Oladimeji
moved a chair close to sit opposite her.
‘Yes.’ It came out as a whisper, she had lost
He beamed. ‘I can’t believe you are now finally
within my reach. ‘ Then he sobered. ‘I have
really missed you, your disappearance almost
killed me…. I am glad to have you back. I love
you. Baby …I want to be mother of my
beautiful children. I want to you my first lady.’
He was also a presidential candidate. His gaze
scanned her face and lingered on her lips. He
brought his face close to kiss her.
Hester turned her face aside.
Oladimeji laughed to cover up his
disappointment. ‘In as much as I will love to
make you mine, I understand you are
exhausted. I will be traveling tomorrow
morning and I will be back in three days. Then
we consumate our marriage in memorable way. ‘ He
bit his lower lips and openly fed his eyes with
her clad body.
‘Bless you sweetheart. ‘ He beamed as he stood
and pressed a bell on the wall.
Soon, a fair skinned, beautiful young lady who
was three years older than Hester hurried in.
Oladimeji assisted Hester up. ‘ Sweetheart meet
Vanessa, she is charge of the ladies and their
activities. She is going to be your personal
assistant. Vany, meet my lady.’
‘Hi Hester.’ Vanessa gave her a charming smile
as she took her hands in hers like they have
know each other for a long time.
Hester managed to smile better than she had
done in the past couple of days. She instantly
‘My lady, I longed to meet you.’ Her smile still
‘I love your smile. ‘ Hester said.
‘Ah …Thank you.’ Vanessa chuckled.
Oladimeji loved the fact that they had got along
well. ‘Vany, take proper care of her, she is my
heartbeat. ‘ He placed a right hand across his
‘I will, very well.’ Still holding her, she gestured
and they walked side by side.
Hester sneezed once more
‘She is beautiful, isn’t she? ‘ Oladimeji voice was
low in the bedroom as he watched her.
‘Yes Sir.’ One her attendant was there with him.
He beamed. ‘I could spend the rest of my life
watching her like this, only I have to go now .’
He pecked her and adjusted the duvet.
Oladimeji stood, ‘Those idiots could have killed
her, cater well to her needs.’ With eyes still on
her face.’ Tobi, in case of anything, call the
Doctor and let me know. I have told Vanessa
already, the word -excuse left my dictionary
He took a final lingering look at her then left
A doctor had come to see her the day she
arrived evening and administered some
medication because she had kept sneezing and
eventually threw up.
Hester moved her head to a side and her palm
settled on her forehead. She opened her eyes.
‘Good morning my lady.’ Tobi beamed as she made to knee.
‘Good morning …Tobi.’ She blinked severally as
she looked up at the unfamiliar ceiling
‘How do you feel? ‘
Hester shut her eyes. ‘Better. ‘
‘What will you like for breakfast? ‘
‘What is the time? ‘
‘5:43.’ Tobi glanced at wall clock.
‘When you wake in the morning, what goes on
around? ‘ Hester sat up.
‘We get to our duties. ‘
Vanessa came into the room smiling. ‘Good
morning my lady, how are you this morning? ‘
She gave her a closer look. ‘Your palm is on
your forehead again. You kept groaning in your
sleep and your palms kept resting on your
forehead. Dear, do you have headache? ‘
‘Did you get to sleep at all? ‘
Vanessa laughed because of the way Hester
pouted her lips. ‘I did.’
‘Are you fine my lady,do we need to send for
the doctor ? ‘.Vanessa sat beside her.
‘No mummy, I will fine besides am not done
with all the medication he prescribed. ‘ She
managed in the voice of a child.
Vanessa chuckled. ‘Okay. So what will you like
for breakfast? ‘
‘Vany …’ Hester groaned. ‘Breakfast shouldn’t
come first in the morning. Do devotion exist
around here? ‘
She lowered her gaze guiltily and sighed.
‘I suppose that is no. ‘
‘Everyone should gather in the sitting room in
ten minutes, all duties whatsoever should be
suspended. ‘ She looked from Vanessa to Tobi,
‘It is all changing from today. You can leave
me now. ‘
Hester placed her legs on the rug. ‘My God …’
She muttered as she buried her face in her
palms momentarily. She had been groaning
even in her sleep.
She stood and with a palm on her forehead,
she head to the bathroom.
‘I like her Carol, infact I love her.’ Angela said
‘My dear, I thought she was going to be like
all those spoilt big men children, I thought she
was going to be bossy and all.’
Carol sliced the cucumbers and smiled. ‘She
sings like a Nightingale, the praise and worship,
the Bible and then the prayers, Oh …it made
me realised I have gone far away from God.
There is this peace that engulfed me. I love her
too much and Angela, she is so nice. ‘
Angela sighed as she picked another onion
bulb. ‘Our boss don’t deserve her at all.’ She
lowered her voice.
‘At all, at all.’ She shook her head. ‘Ehen-hen
Carol, do you know that Aunt Yeni is taking the
day off. Chinwe said she examined her and
sent someone to the pharmacy to get the a list
of drugs for her. She treated Chinwe and she
confessed that all her symptoms are gone.
Angela glared at her momentarily. ‘Nawa o! ‘
‘If you two don’t stop.talking , our gift to our
lady will be starvation. Besides she will like to see
you two.’ Vanessa was at the door.
They said nothing more as they hurried.
Vanessa bobbed her head from side to side
a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ closed her eyes briefly. She exhaled. ‘No
my lady, ℓ̊ never expected myself to be here. ℓ̊
never expected myself at this point in my life
to be committed, submissive to a man a̶̲̥̅̊η∂
his will in every way, that ℓ̊ am not married to.
tears in her eyes.
‘After the realisation that ℓ̊ was the sacrifice of
my dad failure to meet up with oladimeji’s
agreement. ℓ̊ did all ℓ̊ knew to flee, ℓ̊ left the
state, country, no communication, changed
name, everything. It was like the farther I run ,
the easier he reached me. ‘
‘Ooº°˚ ˚°ºoo Hester!’ She breathed out,’It
was…it was…fustrating, ℓ̊ became so
depressed that ℓ̊ swallowed half a bottle of
Hester raised her brows.
‘ℓ̊ wouldnt wish an enemy to go through what
ℓ̊ went through, it was more of going around a
triangle, slant , straight, slant yet linked.
Oladimeji is dangerous a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ never quits.’
Cold shivers ran down her spine.
‘He eventually got me…a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ manipulated me.’
She exhaled fighting back her emotions.’ℓ̊
realised that the more ℓ̊ kicked, the more ℓ̊
fought, the more ℓ̊ got hurt. After a while my
lady, ℓ̊ could not help but resign to my fate
a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ took it as my destiny. After all, I am the
preferred among the ladies.’
Vanessa beamed at her. ‘For you my dear is all
different because he loves you so much a̶̲̥̅̊η∂
care about you. You wouldn’t believe what he did
to scorpion a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ co. because of their silly act. ℓ̊
was with him in the hospital a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ ℓ̊ knew how
he sufferred.’ She expected her to comment
but since her expression remained, she
‘ℓ̊ am very aware of his insensitivity
but he loves you, it will conquer every other
‘ℓ̊ don’t think so sweetie a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ ℓ̊ am less
concerned.’ Hester smiled.
‘Since you are here now, ℓ̊ have been wanting
to share my passion with someone who can
really feel me.’ Vanessa told her rather shyly.
Hester sipped the icetea that was brewed with
Ginger. ‘What will that passion be?’ Her
expression was encouraging.
‘Hair, face, body.’ Vanessa used metonymy.
‘Style, make up, fashion.’ Hester stated simply.
‘Woww queen, you are brainy!’ Vanessa
extended her hand for a handshake impressed.
‘You are a perfect epitome of a friend.’ Hester
returned gigling as she took her hand.
‘Okay.’ Vanessa smiled. ‘Should ℓ̊…? Yes, she is
right beside me …..’ Vanessa handed her the
‘Hi sweetheart, how are you doing?’
‘Great a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ you?’ She returned.
‘I’m fine, I hope you are well taken care of.’
She chuckled. ‘That’s an understatement
Oladimeji, ℓ̊ am over taken care of, in fact, ℓ̊
have added ten pounds.’
Vanessa burst into laughter.
Oladimeji chuckled. ‘ℓ̊ am glad to hear that
sweetheart, ℓ̊ love you a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ ℓ̊ will talk to you
‘Take care ..later.’
‘Yea… you too sweetheart.’ Hester handed the
phone back to Vanessa.
They were both watching a movie on the sitting room.
‘That’s the only coming aη∂ leaving ℓ̊ have
known. Though ℓ̊ have heard that there is an
underground towards that area of the
building.’ She gestured as they strolled. ‘ℓ̊
believe there should be one because oladimeji
has created for himself many enemies, beside
the house is too big just to have one entrance
Hester thoughtfully digest the information.
‘Cleaning or some special activities don’t go on
‘No and only few of his few of his bodyguards
have been there. ‘
‘Quite interesting’. Hester turned her attention
back to her strolling companion with a grin.
‘ℓ̊ hope you have prepared your praise,
worship songs a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ have gathered every prayer
I am going to be in charge and I intend for it
to be power packed.’ Hester told her.
‘You know why?’
‘Your sweetheart is coming tomorrow.’ Vanessa said gleefully.
‘Yes, ḁ̊η∂ more Vany, it has to be special, very,
She laughed, ‘ℓ̊ will do my best a̶̲̥̅̊η∂ hope that
God answers all request.’
‘Faith is a substance of things hope for…’
‘An evidence of things not yet seen.’They
chorused together before bursting into laughter.
‘Darling, let me help you dress up.’ Vanessa
dropped the gown on the bed.
‘Oh my! ‘ Hester exclaimed and looked away
from the mirror. ‘I will soon be so spoilt that I
wouldn’t be able to breath without saying -Aunty Vany
come and help me.’
‘And what is so bad about that. I have always
longed to have a sister. ‘ Vanessa frowned.
Hester smiled. ‘I am going to be a big girl for
the last time and I will dress myself. When I
am through, you will check me out and if you
are dissatisfied, you can do it yourself. ‘
‘Okay, I will be in the sitting room. ‘ Vanessa
Touched, she closed her eyes and heaved. She
was the kind of sister she wished she had and was already fond of her.
The emotion passed quickly as she picked the
dress, wore it. She placed a beaded hair band
around the slender knife handle and inserted
in her full and well packed hair. She went
ahead to support it with a hair clip.
She took in her reflection, it was perfect.
She got on her knees. ‘God please …I need you to aid me, you know I can’t do this anymore… ‘ Her voice trailed as tears
They strolled along the hallway.
‘While I am away, I expect you to take charge
of everything we started, let it continue. ‘
‘Away? ‘ Vanessa stared at her, panic building
within her. ‘Where are you going to? ‘
Hester laughed. ‘You don’t even know what’s
up, so you think Oladimeji will let me go after
the first night? ‘
She exhaled relieved. ‘I get it, honeymoon. ‘
Vanessa chuckled joining in the excitement.
‘Uh-huh. ‘ Hester smiled. ‘When I come back
this way, I won’t be the same. ‘
‘I know. ‘ She returned calmly. ‘I will be waiting
for you. ‘
‘Forget me jur. ‘ Hester squeezed her palm
reassuringly. ‘At least you can take time away
from being a guardian angel.’
‘I will miss you.’ Vanessa smiled sadly.
‘I will miss you so very much.’ Hester returned
and meant it.
Vanessa looked ahead. ‘I can’t go with you any
‘Thanks for coming with me.’ Hester beamed
and they embraced each other.
She took few steps into Oladimeji’s bedroom
corridor, turned back and waved.
Vanessa waved back knowing her lady was not
really happy . She shrugged and begin to walk
back as tears formed in her eyes. Over the
years, as she came in terms with her fate, she
had grew fond of him despite all. She was
never going to rival his choice no matter what
because she felt a great deal of peace and
security around the aura Hester possessed.