Seven years has passed since Mariam last saw Tomi. Things had changed since they departed NYSC camp Iseyin Oyo state. They had been posted to separate parts of Oyo state buy has kept in touch despite distance and… Men.
Mariam had married to her beloved husband, things weren’t as beautiful as when they started or as she had hoped but she could care less. She was happy where she was. It was better not to think about it. All she wanted was for her little boy to be happy and grow up to be a fine young man.
Tomi on the other hand had divorced twice within the same span of time… Both men had committed the same offence… They refused to do the laundry.
8 hours on the road was worth the stress as Tomi beamed with life as the Uber she had hired pulled in front of the huge black gate of the house house Mariam lived in the heart of the Lagos Island… Travelling from Ibadan to Lagos was not as long as the traffic on the roads… She made it finally but she wasn’t eager to have some rest as much as she wanted to see her friend.
“Hello babe! I’m outside your house” she said as calmly as she could over the phone.
She gently highlighted from the car and made for the booth to pick her luggage. Mariam burst out of the gate running to give her long time friend a big hug, they held one another in the embrace for a while.
“Great to see you again.” Mariam smiled.
“You’ve done well for yourself.” Tomi replied as she released her luggage for Mariam pull along.
“Like being CEO of a major marketing company isn’t doing well…” Mariam replied.
“I never said it wasn’t… When would you change?”
“When I see my parents again.”
Tomi stared at her, she just wouldn’t believe that her childhood friend had stayed the same jovial, happy fellow she was.
Mariam had it tough growing up, her parents died when she was young and all she had was Tomi’s parents… They were sisters sort of. Her uncle thought it best for her to complete her secondary education where she was. There was no point in taking her through double psychological stress… Having just lost both parents and then having to find new friends in a new school… It was for the best because Mariam was a stark introvert… Tomi was about the only person she knew and talked to… She spent most ofher time if not all with Tomi.
“Food?” Mariam asked as she returned from the room she had prepared for Tomi.
“How can you be asking me?… I’m famished please.”
Within a few moments, Mariam was back with a steaming array of plates with various sumptuous contents.
“Where’s the man of the house?” Tomi asked as she joined Mariam at the dining table.
“He’s at work… Would be home by 6…”
“I’m not asking about Tunmise… The man… Joseph.”
Mariam giggled. “My baby is growing to a man really… The bus wood bring him home by 2.”
“You use the school bus now? After all you’ve acquired in wealth?” Tomi questioned.
“The boy needs to mix with his mates.”
“By being in the bus…” Tomi stated sarcastically.
“What’s bad in the school bus please?”
“Do you know how many other children are on the bus? Do you know how many diseases they carry? The only child you have… Would you take care of him much more?”
“Tomi!” Mariam called out.
“Whose idea was this, yours or Tunmise?” Tolu asked.
Mariam kept mute… She knew what answer would be right but she couldn’t hide her personality from Tomi… She sometimes felt that Tomi knew her more than her husband did… She actually did spend more time talking to her than she did her husband.
“Why am I asking? I trust you won’t have suggested such… He forced this on you again didn’t he…” Tomi started. “He forced it on you didn’t he?” She yelled.
Mariam knew how Tomi could get, she knew her husband better than letting Tomi get to him. “My husband and I made a decision, for what is best for my son.”
“I wonder what you’re doing with this man.” Tomi remarked.
The dark rumbling skies of the night brightened up occasionally with light that ushered in some weird thunderings. Jane had not managed to make it home through any of such nights by herself, Clement was always set to take her home but that very night, he had left for the doctor’s earlier. She stood at the bus stop as the rain gushed down her hair into her face.
She had not taken any umbrella or shower cap because the forecast on the news the previous night didn’t tell her.
She tapped her feet repeatedly on the pavement… Her fury could almost be seen as fumes in the rain. She wasn’t sure what she was angry at maybe the rain or herself. Maybe she didn’t even need a reason to be angry… All she knew was she had to get home as quickly as possible.
Her mother-in-law was to arrive that day. It was bad enough she wasn’t at home to receive her, she had to get home so late yet again.
Finally a glimmer of hope appeared in the offing, She waved her hand towards the headlight of the car speeding towards her direction. She waved pretty desperately but the car wouldn’t stop but not too far off another car came running by this time the car stopped.
“Fagba!” She stated.
The car glass rolled down slowly, she moved simultaneously away from the car…
“Annie!” Jane exclaimed and slumped
“Who killed us?”
“Who did we kill?”