False gods #7

False gods

Read Also: False gods #6

Chapter 7 : Blood on the Leaves

I tried to scream, but my entire being was stricken. I muffled as I could feel a peppery implosion in my chest, “my Nkem is gone?” This had to be me having one of my marijuana-induced hallucinations, yet it refused to leave. That bold headline flashed on the base of the screen as the very stirred presenter narrated the event fighting back tears.

The story had it that neighbours saw Nkem come in with a gangly light-skinned man at midnight. And by dawn, said man was gone even as his bloodstained footprints littered the flat. The neighbours, flustered by the observation went knocking on Nkem’s door till they had it pulled down. Nkem was sprawled naked on the floor covered from face to chest in her nearly frigid congealed blood. She seemed to have been bludgeoned to death by hundreds of Satan’s minions. I was shuddering now, Pastor kept calling, I was too broken to act unaffected. Winnerman, not today. A text came in:

Asari, we should talk. I know what you did. I can help you

Those words by Pastor Winnerman sent me into a meltdown. Did I kill Nkem? I crashed on the ground, my vision became blurry, my brain was on overdrive, I screamed. That helped. What happened last night? ‘My life is over,’ I said to myself as I picked up the phone to call Pastor. He answered.

“Asari, where have you been?”

“Pastor”, I said sobbing

“Okay, stay calm. It’s okay, that stupid girl had to go.”

“Pastor, did I kill her?”

“See question o. Asari, you still dey smoke this morning? Yuwa is coming to brief you. Stay sharp!”

Pastor had trivialized the whole incident. I was a lot calmer now, then I remembered…

I had dropped Nkem off at her place last night and spent some time “communing” with her. I left her apartment at about 11pm. That’s all I remember. My head swirled at the images of her bloodied body which kept flashing through my head. A knock on the front door brought me back to reality. Yuwa stepped into the living room, mocking me with his dopey eyes. I was too languid for any mind games or pleasantries, so I ignored him.

“Yuwa, what’s going on?”

“I should ask you. You know what happened.”

“Man, what are you talking about? I know nothing.”

“Haha haha. You killed Nkem! You cold-blooded killer!”

My whole world stopped. I couldn’t even contemplate. My depravity had suddenly changed my fate. Me? A killer? How?

Yuwa spent the next fifteen minutes disclosing the current state of events. Apparently, I was seen by a witness. According to the witness, he heard screams from Nkem’s apartment and after some time, they stopped. He claimed I came out a few minutes later with blood all over my body and drove off in a hurry in a Porsche. By now, I was already drowning in my own tears with the rest of my body stiff. Yuwa tried to be sympathetic by declaring that Pastor has vowed to catch the real culprit. In the meanwhile, he wanted to see me.

About an hour later, I drove into the Winnerman Estate. I had noticed a sedan with an unusual colour parked outside. I knew I had seen it before but didn’t remember where. I sat in Winnerman’s living room for the next one hour, waiting, sobbing, mumbling some spiritual jargon. He had a private meeting with his senior staff. Funny how people distance themselves from you in times of trouble. I was no longer allowed in the inner circle. Pastor eventually came out with some guys who I knew quite well. They managed to reply my greetings with pitiful feigned smiles. Pastor Winnerman seemed unusually excited today for someone whose girl was just gruesomely murdered.

“My man Asari. Hope you’ve eaten something today? You look pale.”

“I will soon. Now about Nkem, I –“

“You wouldn’t believe it. I just got a helicopter as a birthday gift from pastor Dokubo.”

“Wait a minute! Pastor Dokubo? I thought he was your enemy.”

His mouth twitched, and I was pretty sure he was fighting a smile. Now, I knew I was in trouble. Nkem happened to be the spy Pastor Dokubo sent to Winnerman. I was pissed now and ready to explode.

“Don’t you dare ignore me or talk to me in that unbearably coy and contemptuous tone.

What the hell is going on?”

“Calm down son. I will get to the matter of Nkem in due time.” He said in a patronizing manner.

“My mole says the police doesn’t have all the details now. The witness is still feeding them information. Let’s just be patient for now.”

“Easy for you to say. You don’t have a noose around your neck. Pastor, you know I’m innocent. I couldn’t have killed her. I lo— cared about her”

At this moment, I could imagine myself in prison clothes. Pastor gave me some money and promised to do his best, like that was what I needed. I was no longer scared of him. I was just mad at his indifference. He was so unperturbed like Nkem was some infinitesimal piece of rag. How dare him? I laid in my bed that night, expecting the police to barge into my apartment at any time. I cried like there was an open wound in my heart, well there was — my Nkem. Suddenly, lightning struck in my foggy mind, cutting crazy zigzags. I had remembered why that car in Pastor’s compound was so familiar. The car was parked outside Nkem’s house when I left last night.

Oh my God! I’m in hell!!!

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