At a few minutes past 10am the next morning, Jaiye heard a knock on her bedroom door. She knew it must be her daughter. She has been waiting for her.
“Who is there?” She called out loud.
“Yemi.” Was the single reply.
“He will be here before noon.” She said sternly, not bothering to greet her.
“Are you serious?” Jaiye asked as she quickly got out of bed.
“Yes, I just finished speaking with him. He has agreed to come and see me before I leave for the States.”
“OK, OK. That’s very fast, I didn’t expect him to agree to come back here so soon.”
“So what next?” She asked, ignoring her last statement.
“This is our chance and we can’t afford to fail.” Jaiye said, rushing to her dressing table. She pulled a drawer and brought out a small bottle. “You are going to put some of this into his drink.”
“How do I do that? He is never going to accept a drink from me. Not right now and definitely not when he has to drink alone.” Yemi said.
“Then drink with him.”
“And fall asleep too while you grab the keys and run off? I have always known you have an ulterior motive.”
“Don’t be silly Yemi. If I have an ulterior motive, I wouldn’t even include you in my plans. Do you really think I can’t pull this off without you?”
“You can’t, not now that I know about it.”
“Hmmm, Yemi, you do not know me at all.” Jaiye said and gave a mirthless smile.
“You don’t know me either. I suggest we get this done as amicably and as quickly as possible because I really can’t tolerate you.” She replied plainly, watching her meanly.
“Yes, I agree with you and the feeling is mutual. It was your idea that we make him fall asleep for a few minutes. I should think too that you should come up with how.”
“I don’t know how and I definitely will not fall asleep too. So come up with something better. I have succeeded in making him come. It’s your turn to make this work or I open up to him.”
“Don’t act like you don’t want to see Kamil or like you are doing me a favour.”
“Of course I want to see Kamil but I want to be fully conscious all the way. I don’t trust you, sorry.”
“OK, I should expect that. Here’s what you will do. Rinse both glasses before taking them to the living room so that they are both wet. Lace his glass with the potion. It will still have the same effect.”
“That sounds a lot better. Let me have it.” She said and stretched her hand.
Jaiye dropped the bottle into her hand and watched her leave the room. She was happy, she hadn’t imagined it would be so soon. She was ready too.
At precisely quarter past noon, Jaiye watched the car drive into the big compound. The time has come she told herself, the long-awaited time of her freedom. And she couldn’t wait. She sat on her dressing table and faced the mirror. She stared hard at her face in the mirror and reassured herself it was now or never. She didn’t feel bad; she didn’t have any doubt either. This was war and the rule is, eat or be eaten! And she was definitely going to eat until she was well satisfied.
She remained sitting even when she heard Chief’s voice in the living room downstairs. It wasn’t time yet for her to make her grand entrance. Not yet, Yemi has the floor at the moment.
“Good afternoon daddy.” Yemi greeted her dad the moment he came into the room. She has been waiting for him in the living room since it clocked noon. She was very eager to get it all over with and very desperate too to rescue Kamil. She prayed fervently that their plan works out well. She couldn’t bear the sight of her mother anymore. She loathed her now and secretly, she wanted her parents to have the divorce. It would mean good riddance to a very bad rubbish. She has often wondered how her father was able to tolerate her mother’s infidelity all these years and now that she knew why, she hated her mother for treating him in such a debased manner. She deserved to be thrown out in the cold, penniless! If she had a say in the matter, she would have openly supported her father. But she didn’t have a say, she needed her mother’s help to find her lover. Afterwards, she’d make her suffer.
“How are you?” Chief Ani replied dryly and took his favorite seat. “And what is it you said you wanted to discuss.” He added, giving the impression that he was in a hurry to leave the house.
“I have decided to return to the States immediately. I wanted to see you and apologize before I leave.” She said and watched him. He gave no reply as he watched her with eyes that told her he expected her to continue talking. “I am sorry daddy, I feel so ashamed of myself right now. I can’t even look at you in the face. I feel so bad and I don’t know how I’d go back without first getting your forgiveness.” She said sadly. “Please forgive me daddy.”
He watched her for a long while without speaking. He didn’t know whether to tell her what she wanted to hear or not.
“It’s OK” he said slowly at last. He couldn’t think of anything else to say to her.
“No, it’s not OK. I want to hear you say you forgive me.” She said in a contrite tone.
“I will only say that when you are back in the States. I want you out of this country.” He said finally.
“Fair enough but at least you can have a drink with me.” She said patronizingly.
“I am not in the mood to drink.” He said flatly.
“Oh daddy, that means you are mad at me. I can’t go back knowing you won’t even have a drink with me.” She said.
“Ok, let’s have a drink then but you must return to the States immediately.”
“Yes, yes daddy, I will. You are the best.” She said in excitement, getting on her feet.
“Fresh orange juice will do.”
“OK, I will have the same.” She said and went out of the room. She came back moments later with the drink. Setting the tray on the center table, she poured out two glasses and handed him one.
“Cheers daddy, to the greatest daddy on earth!” She said and they clicked glasses. They both emptied their content in one gulp.
“There’s something else daddy.” She said slowly.
“I knew this wasn’t over yet. What is it this time?”
“It’s about you and mummy.” She began.
“Yes, I want to talk to her too. Call her.”
“Is there no other way than a divorce?”
“There is no other way, this is long overdue.” He said flatly.
“Mr Johnbull, could you excuse us please? I want to have a private talk with my dad.” She said, addressing Johnbull who sat quietly at a corner.
Johnbull ignored her and continued to fiddle with his phone, an indication that he wouldn’t take orders from her.
“Johnbull please wait outside for me.” Chief said and Johnbull left the room.
“I’ll call mummy now.” She said and left the room.
Jaiye listened from behind the heavy drapes that shielded the living room from the staircase. She got there in time to hear Yemi persuade her father to have a drink and she has been there all the while, listening. As Yemi approached the drapes, she made her grand entrance into the room, this was her moment, she told herself confidently.
She walked with the gait of a victor past Yemi and came before Chief. She stood in front of him and looked hard at him with eyes that showed him her disdain. At first, both father and daughter mistook her action for plain effrontery but when she smiled suddenly as she watched him react to the first pang of pain, they both realized that something else was amiss. Her smile was a clear picture of vindictive satisfaction and they both recognized it.
“Look at you now Chief,” she began in a smooth steady voice. “You were too damn sure of yourself to think you have all the aces. You really should have continued to look the other way and when you got tired and ready for a divorce, you never should have threatened to leave me penniless!” she added and took a seat in front of him.
“Mother, what is all this about?” Yemi asked in surprise. This wasn’t their plan.
“Stay out of this girl, this is not your business.” Jaiye said coldly and facing Chief, she continued.
“I kept tabs with all our investments and I know our net worth, well, thanks to your confidential secretary.” She continued sarcastically. “She supplied every detail I asked for, that was my compensation for allowing her to sleep with you.” She paused, making sure both of them followed. “Well, I didn’t mind that at all but for you to want to leave me with nothing and have her take my place is something any sane human being will not accept.”
“What are you talking about?” Yemi asked, visibly irritated.
“I said stay out of this!” Jaiye said in a flat voice that chilled her. “Back to you Chief, we labored together for years and let me refresh your memory in case you have forgotten. I made your first major breakthrough possible. Now you want to leave me for that nonentity I permit you to sleep with. And you have the guts to tell me I am going to have nothing. You are right where I want you now, at my mercy and I am to decide now who gets what.”
“What have you done Jaiye?” Chief Ani said slowly, realizing the situation.
“I am simply taking care of things. It was obvious you needed my help.”
Chief Ani suddenly felt numb down his throat. He looked from Jaiye to Yemi as the sharp pain hit his stomach. It became difficult to breathe. “What did she make you do Yemi?” he gasped as he began to twist on the chair.
“What is happening to him? He is going through pains.” Yemi cried but she could see her mother seemed to enjoy the picture before her.
“Oh yes, I can see that.” She replied, smiling.
“Is he supposed to go through pains?”
“Don’t worry, he will be fine.”
“But he is getting worse!” Yemi screamed as Chief fall on the floor. She rushed to him and realized he was sweating profusely. “What is happening to him?” she asked angrily, charging at her mother.
“At this point, I think I should let you know.” Jaiye began. “There is no key in your father’s briefcase and I am not even sure he knows where Kamil is. But I will find Kamil, I can assure you that and I am going to find him for myself. I realized I must first get you both out of the way. Your father gave me the opportunity and you have helped me to execute my first plan.”
“What?” Yemi cried in disbelief.
“Yes, the potion I gave you is poison and your father is going to die by your own hands. I am very lucky to have Johnbull as a witness and he will not hesitate to testify against you. So you see my dear, I have you both exactly where I want you both!” Jaiye said triumphantly.
Yemi watched her mother in shock, half believing her ears. She wanted to tear her apart, to rip her wicked heart out of her chest but she knew it would be futile. Her father needed all the help he could get. And as if he could read her mind, he gave a weak groan that sent her rushing to his side instead.
“Oh daddy, I am so sorry. She used me.” She cried, bending over him. Quickly, she took off his shirt so that he could get enough air. When she was done, she grabbed her phone and called for an ambulance. Speaking quickly, she gave a brief narration of the situation. There was nothing else she could do now but wait for the ambulance. And pray!
“He will never make it alive to the hospital.” Jaiye began slowly when she heard her daughter promise him he’ll be okay. “He is still alive at this time because the poison was mixed in juice. But that’s not a problem, he will be dead in less than forty minutes. He cannot speak now and air supply is weakening, very shortly, he will not be able to breathe. His respiratory system will soon shut down, so will be his heart and his brain.”
Yemi ignored her mother. Her total concentration was on her father. She watched him keenly, ready to give him a mouth to mouth resuscitation when he can no longer breath on his own. She has had a brief experience while in the Red Cross Society and she knew exactly what to do.
“You are wasting your time, he has no chance. I am inclined to give you an advice though. You can as well take the remaining potion. It’s a bleak future ahead of you, you know.” But Yemi continued to ignore her, she knew she was deliberately trying to make her angry and lose focus.
“Well, if that’s the way you want it, let it be on record that I gave you a chance to take the easy way out but you turned it down.” Jaiye said as she got on her feet. Suddenly, she tore her blouse and ran out of the room, screaming for help.
Johnbull rushed into the room.
“What’s happening here?” he demanded upon seeing Chief lying on the floor. He pushed Yemi aside and examined him. He felt Chief’s pulse. His heart reeled when he noticed how faint his pulse was. “What is the matter sir?” he asked him’
“He can’t speak.” Yemi supplied.
“She poisoned him!” Jaiye cried, coming to stand near them.
“I demand to know what happened,” Johnbull said, addressing Yemi.
“I will tell you everything later, right now, we have to pay close attention to him. I have already called for an ambulance” she told him calmly.
“She poisoned her father because he wouldn’t tell her where to find Kamil!” Jaiye said breathlessly. “Johnbull, you must get the police right away. I cannot cover this.”
“I want to know what happened. What exactly did he drink? I might be able to help him.” He said desperately.
“It is poison and I don’t know the name or type, except she is willing to tell you.” Yemi said plainly.
“But you had the same drink!”
“She must have laced her father’s glass!” Jaiye said quickly
“And how did you know that?” he asked Jaiye angrily.
“That’s the only logical explanation.”
“I suggest you ignore her. We must pay close attention to him to give him a mouth to mouth resuscitation when he can no longer breathe on his own.” Yemi said in a flat tone.
“Did you poison his drink?”
“Please let’s concentrate, I will tell you everything as soon as help comes.”
“You should call the police now Johnbull, unless of course the two of you planned this.” Jaiye said angrily.
“You understand that I have to report this immediately.” He told Yemi slowly.
“I do, but let’s wait for the ambulance first. I am not running away.” She said coldly.
“Call the police right away or I will take it that you are part of this.” Jaiye said sternly.
“We will wait for the ambulance and I don’t care what you think!” he yelled at her. And before she could protest, they all heard the whirl of the approaching ambulance.
As Chief was lifted into the stretcher moments later, he secretly slipped his mobile phone into Johnbull’s hand. He had recorded everything!
The doctors battled to save Chief’s life. There was not much they could do to save some of his internal organs and after several months on intensive care, they decided he’d get better treatment far away in India. The poison had eaten up most of his esophagus and intestines.
And as he was whisked through space to far-away India, accompanied by Bukky and Johnbull, Jaiye and her daughter stood before a judge and awaited their sentences.