I didn't know I was capable of something that cruel
I’d always known he was dangerous, I’d always known that he was capable of doing horrible things, I just did not know the extent of it.
On that day, I followed him after I caught him talking mysteriously on the phone again.
‘Oh, that was Oghene,’ he’d said to me after I asked who it was. ‘He wants me to meet up with him at Kenny’s place. We need to see how sales are doing,’ he finished without looking me in the eye.
‘You better not come back high again,’ I told him scathingly, more irritated by the blatant lie than his continuous use of drugs despite my warnings and pleas.
Oghene had travelled just that morning to see his people in Delta State, and I knew this thanks to Folake, his girlfriend, who happens to be one of my closest friends. Too bad my boyfriend didn’t think she’d have told me about it already.
I rushed after him when I was sure he’d walked a good distance. I was really amazed by how well I was able to stay hidden and not get caught all through that 10-minute walk. The darkness helped a lot, though.
He finally reached a very quiet place, where he caught up with ‘Oghene’, who happened to be a woman – a much older one.
I couldn’t hear what was being said but I saw the lady hand him a bag full of something. She was just about to leave when he grabbed her neck and mouth from behind.
He quickly pulled out something from his back pocket and stabbed her twice in the neck. My loud scream got his attention. He dumped her body and ran after me as I was already running helplessly in a hurry to get away from the gory sight.
‘Baby! Baby! Wait babe!’ he called desperately.
I was afraid, but I stopped.
He was the man I’d loved for many years after all and I’d watched him go from being a smart young man with a bright future to a drug-dealing adult who occasionally got high off his goods.
It broke my heart every time he came back high or brought back loads of cash from ‘business deals’. I had stayed enjoying all the wealth and comfort that came with the good life, all the while hoping that things would be ‘normal’ someday, when he gathered enough money to start a more legitimate business that would be able to cater to the kind of life he was now used to.
‘Start something small, babe. Let’s dump this drug-dealing life for good,’ I’d always tell him but he was greedy for more wealth.
He reached me and as I looked in his eyes, I saw pain, confusion, desperation and most of all, regret. I knew that deep down he was still that 18-year-old kid I met seven years ago, the one with the boyish grin and strong determination to do better than his parents had been able to do for himself and his siblings.
I hugged him and listened to him tell me about how the lady was the head of the cartel, and how he was tired of her demands. The bag he’d collected from her was full of drugs he was supposed to transport to Europe in a few days, but he was done with her and that life.
He’d carefully planned the murder, he believed it was the first step to finally trying to live a better life. He’d safely get this one to its destination and come back, and then he would try to be a better man, for me, he said. He hated seeing me suffer, he said.
We both cried in each other’s arms.
‘But what do we do with the body now, Joseph? We can’t just leave her there,’ I stammered.
‘Yes, we can and we will. That’s the best thing to do, no one forgives murder,’ he responded a bit more confidently.
He wiped my face and kissed my forehead, promising me that everything would be fine in a few days and that we would finally be able to get the best life.
I believed him. He always found a way to keep his promises to me.
I walked back to the apartment with him, all the while praying that no one ever found us out. Would this really be he beginning of a fresh start? I wasn’t so sure, but as I looked at him and saw the affection for me shining in his eyes, I knew it was a risk I was willing to take. I would do anything for us, even if it meant covering up a murder.
But for how long would we be able to live in peace? For how long before karma finally caught up with us, if the Police didn’t beat it to us? For how long would I be able to live with my conscience knowing that I’d concealed something as deliberately harmful as cold-blooded murder?
I had no answers to any of these questions, but they followed me all through the walk back home.
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