I had barely gotten to my room when my phone began to ring.
I looked at the caller and it was the receptionist at Hilly Zander guest house.
Instantly, my heart skipped 3beats and my breath rhythm increased.
The reason why she was calling me was clear to me and this added to my anxiety.
But then I had to pick or else I would be tagged the chief suspect without any waste of time.
With trembling hands I picked the call.
“Hello,” I said on picking.
“Yes, am I speaking with Cindy?” The female voice at the other end of the line asked.
“Yes, you are,” I replied.
“What did you do to Alhaji? Alhaji was found dead this morning after you had left. What did you do to him?” She asked nearly precipitating a spontaneous cardiac arrest in me.
I nearly slumped on hearing the receptionist’s question but to God be the glory I didn’t.
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” I replied with all the courage my failing heart could muster.
“Please can you come over to Hilly Zander guest house?” She asked sending my already weakened heart beating anew.
“Sorry I’m not in town,” I lied nervously.
There was no way I could go back to that guest house for any reason not to talk of now that a murder case was involved.
“The best thing you can do for yourself and this guest house,” the receptionist continued. “is to bundle yourself back to this place and clarify things or risk turning yourself into a fugitive. Alhaji came in here healthy and hearty till this morning.”
“The Alhaji was sleeping when I left,” I countered defending myself. “I don’t know what you’re talking about and I’m currently not in town.”
Angrily, the receptionist ended the call.
It was obvious that the guest house was in big trouble as the deceased person was no small individual.
Imagine a senator of the federal republic of____found dead in a guest house?
The case was indeed no small case and the guest house was bound to answer for it.
No wonder they wanted me at all cost.
But then truth be told, I didn’t kill Alhaji and all of you can bear me witness.
But all the same I wasn’t going anywhere.
As far as I’m concerned, I was out of town and out of sight.
The police arrested all members of the hotel management including the manager.
They also sent Alhaji’s body to a well known hospital for autopsy.
News was sent to the media about a wanted prostitute named Cindy.
Luckily for me, my real name wasn’t Cindy so I only had my picture to contend with.
Once or twice some friends called to confirm whether I was the one been shown all over the news in connection to the murder of one reputable senator.
I strongly denied being the one and waved aside the picture as mere resemblance.
Even my roommate Stella was shocked about the whole development.
My only saving grace was that the name all over the news was Cindy not Linda.
Funny enough when the autopsy result of the dead Alhaji came out, it showed that the Alhaji had died of circulatory arrest resulting from the complications of his intake of one locally made aphrodisiac known as burantashi.
This cleared both the hotel management and “I” of the crime but the news nonetheless spread all over the country that a senator had died in a guest house after a marathon s€x session with a prostitute after taking a locally made aphrodisiac they called burantashi…
It took me some months to recover from Alhaji Jubril’s experience.
It wasn’t easy at all for me.
To imagine that I had laid side by side with a corpse till daybreak was traumatic on its own.
What if the ghost had strangled me to death? What story would I have narrated to God in judgement?
The experience reminded me of how long ago I last went to church.
One thing about living a reckless life is that it has a way of luring you away from God.
You start avoiding the things of God probably because you feel so dirty and unworthy to be in His presence.
It had been months I last went to church and somehow I felt I needed a come back.
The sunday 3weeks after Alhaji Jubril’s saga died down, I went to church for the first time in 9months.
My parents had brought me up the christian way and taught me all the things I needed to know about my christian faith.
My parents were anglicans and we all went to church together. We were 7 in our family – 3girls and 4boys. I was the first child and my younger ones looked up to me for direction.
As a result, I had so much responsibilities on my shoulders so my parents were very strict and thorough with me.
The strictness doubled when I reached puberty and started seeing my period.
My mum in particular was always on my neck hammering into my ears how wicked and deadly men were.
“Its true that we are not all that buoyant,” she would said to me. “But then never accept any favour from any boy or man no matter who. Infact anywhere you see them start running.”
I nodded my head severally each time she dished out this piece of advice.
Her strictness even increased my curiosity to find out what it was about men that was so deadly.
I was barely seventeen when I lost my virginity to one of our street boys whom I loved so much and was very nice to me.
I had felt severe pain that very first time he t—-t his young p€n!s into my wet punni but that was all about that. Every other thing that followed was pleasurable.
When I got admission into the university to study accountancy, all the strictness and harshness from my parents dramatically reduced and I began to notice a new found respect they had towards me.
But all that was now in the past.
The pastor’s sermon that sunday was very touching and it was asif the whole talk was directed at me.
I felt so dirty and guilty inside but nonetheless man and woman had got to survive and my own case wasn’t different…
I came back from a friend’s house 3days later and saw a brand new infinity jeep parked in front of our hostel.
It wasn’t a new thing to find flashy cars parked in front of our hostel but something was peculiar about this one.
The plate number had the name “STELLA – 001” inscribed on it.
My roommate Stella had purchased a brand new jeep.
My eyes widened with envy and I felt bad. I was yet to buy simple camry while my roommate owned two jeeps.
And what was more? The plate number was customized. Not even ordinary plate number. And both of us were in the same business.
Was it that there was something I wasn’t doing right or was it that Stella was hiding certain things from me?
I couldn’t tell.
I quietly entered our room. Stella was jubilating with some friends when I came in.
“Linda baby!” Stella hailed as I walked in. “Meet my wonderful roommate.” She said turning to her friends and swinging her left hand towards me.
“Linda baby! Welcome,” Stella’s friends chorused.
“Thank you dearies,” I replied with a smile on my face. “Please what are we celebrating?” I asked pretending like I hadn’t seen the jeep outside.
“Stella bought a new jeep,” they chorused aloud.
“Wow! Baby I’m so happy for you,” I shouted hugging my roommate. “This truly calls for celebration.” I added like I was happy.
I acted happy through out the jubilation even though deep inside I was full of envy for my roommate.
She was doing well more than me in the business and I wasn’t happy.
But then I didn’t know what to do.
A thought flashed across my mind to plan with my male friends who were cultists and snatch the new jeep from her – to show the extent my envy had gotten to.
A second thought countered the first and informed me of the consequences that awaited me should the plan fail.
But then the envy I felt inside overshadowed the second thought and I seriously started thinking of how best to actualize my plan.
I followed up the plan and was very happy when a week later my roommate ran into our room crying profusely that her new infinity jeep had been stolen at gunpoint.
I pretended to be shocked by the news and shouted at the top of my voice like the news had hurt me but deep inside I was happy.
I couldn’t watch my roommate outdo me in a business the both of us were into together so I had to do what I did.
Since I ventured into the business, it had been from one misfortune to the other while my roommate had been having a smooth ride all along.
Then a thought crossed my mind of the possibility that my roommate must have charmed me to slow down my progress.
“How come I never thought of this?” I asked myself wondering aloud.
I knew of one spiritualist whose temple was located around our campus and I wasted no time in consulting him…
To be continued…