(Episode 8) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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I opened the big oak door and came face to face, with Nora. She was decked in a black jumpsuit and Christian Louboutine shoes. My eyes were wide in shock when I saw her.

Nora: “You are that graphic designer Kunmi talks so much about aren’t you?” she asked with her brows arched.

Leke: “Yes ma’am” I stuttered.

Nora: “So what are you doing here?”

Leke: “I was worried that after the failed collection launch, you have not been coming to the office, I got the address from Kunmi” I said earnestly. I could see a faint trace of a smile on her lips.

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Nora: “You came to see me, so why are you leaving without seeing me, come on, perhaps we could talk about the fashion brand” she said and I saw a lonely woman, desperate for any link to a human being. I turned on my heels and we walked back in. Iya Biliki was giving me the stink eye, she obviously knew that Nora had not sent me, and wrote it off to an overzealous staff.

Iya Biliki: “Olofofo” I heard her mutter under her breath.

Nora did not entertain me in the living room as I had expected, she took me to her bedroom to my utter surprise. I was already calling her stink names in my head expecting that the woman was going to ask me for sex. I was also scared that I would be a disappointment since all I knew about sex were the things I read in books. But Nora did not have her mind on sex.

Nora: “It is a little inappropriate to bring you into my bedroom, but it is the only place I feel safe. It is ironic though that this room belonged to…” she stopped talking, even when I was hanging on her every word.

Leke: “Belonged to who?” I asked, desperate for her to continue, but she stared into space like she had not heard me.

Nora: “What will you have, I have exotic wines, old wines in the cellar”

Leke: “I will have Chardonnay if you don’t mind” I said. She stopped on her tracks, turned and looked at me. Chardonnay was my father’s favorite white wine; mother also took up on the taste while they were dating, so it was all they drank at home while they were alive.

Nora: “How old are you anyway?” she asked

Leke: “I am twenty five” I lied.

We talked about the fashion house, but anytime I tried to bring up the incident that happened on the day of the collection launch, she would brush it aside. Then she asked about my family, I told her I was an orphan and she had the effrontery to feel sorry. It took all my will power to keep smiling, when what I really wanted to do was bash her head. I asked to leave when it was getting dark, and she was beginning to slur her words. I told myself there would be other chances. Besides, Banke had been burning up my phone with calls. On my way out of my former house, I called Banke to meet me somewhere so I could take her to my place. I was angry and she was the closest victim, I was determined to exert my anger at the whole of humanity. Banke came, dressed in a super short dress, and her face was all made up. She obviously came with expectations, and I was not going to disappoint, at least in giving her what she wants.

Leke: “Why are you dressed up, are we going out?”I asked mockingly.

Banke: “You are so unromantic. Compliment me if you wish, stop beating around the bush” she replied and threw herself on the bed. The short while before she came, I had groomed myself, so when I went to the bed and pulled her up for a warm embrace, she was hit by a huge amount of male freshness. When I tried to pull away from the embrace, she leaned in closer, holding on to my Tommy Hilfiger vest. I pulled away nevertheless; I was not going to be that guy who rushed a girl like he had never had sex, even though I have never really had sex. I took out a bottle of red wine from the bedside refrigerator and poured two glasses.

Banke: “Wow, cool” she said as the rich taste of Cabernet sauvignon hit her taste buds. As we sipped the wine, she talked about herself, all the relationships she had been in and her expectations for our relationship. She had high expectations; it was too bad that I was not the one for them because, even though I had to pull on big boy pants quite early, I was just sixteen. Everything she knew about me was a lie.

Leke: “Relax, you are just twenty one, live” I said. If she had wisdom, she would have got the message. The fact that she did not though, was good for me. When I leaned towards her, she tilted her head and I brushed light kisses on her lips. I deepened the kiss when I felt her shudder, and saw her metamorphose into a wild sex beast. She pushed me to the bed and began to ravish me. I wanted to take back the controls, but she was not letting go of the reins. Before I knew it, she had flung her dress away.

Leke: “Have you done this before?” I asked, suddenly afraid I would mess up, Banke was not naïve after all.

Banke: “You haven’t?” she asked incredulously.

Leke: “I have never quite found the right girl, until now” I said gazing into her eyes. If I had to admit my virginity, I best present it in a romantic way. I was not about to tell her I was still a virgin because I was locked up in a house for loonies for ten years.

Banke: “I am honored. I feel so ashamed now, wish I waited for you” she replied with doe eyes, looking up to me like I held the keys to the kingdom.

Leke: “No need to be, all that matters is now” I said patronizing her. I began to trail kisses all over her naked body, I felt her turn jelly under my hot lips. The reins of control were back in my hands.

When I opened my eyes, the sun was up. My heart raced in fear, had I slept off my first chance with a girl? I panicked.

Banke: “Morning sunshine” she said with a wide satisfied smile. The memories of last night began to return to me. It was lit; I had done well, even at my first trial, all thanks to all the kamasutra I read.

Leke: “Morning bae” I replied and got out of bed.

Banke: “I am so in love with you” she exclaimed, I stopped in my tracks and went back to bed to lean in for a kiss. Even though I was not feeling her, I had to treat her well, so she would be malleable for me to use in my plot against Nora.

Leke: “When does your school resume?”

Banke: “In December, I have months to kill before then. I would have been so bored if I did not have you” she said, smiling sheepishly. She was beginning to irritate me, did she have sex and lose her brains after wards? I wondered.

Leke: “I have something that will keep you engaged. We are a team right?”

Banke: “Sure boo” she said excitedly.

Leke: “I want to do a documentary on Nora Aboderine. The incident at the collection launch has got me thinking. It seems Nora came out from nowhere and became the chairman of Fola fashion house. I want you to be my eyes and ears.” I said carefully, watching her facial expressions.

Banke: “You want me to spy on your boss, and my sister’s boss?” she asked, getting up suddenly from the bed, to go stand by the window.

Question: “Will Banke agree to this dangerous plan?”

…. Stay tuned for Episode 9  (You don’t wanna Miss this!)AdeLove StoriesPremier Naija Inspirational Blog!

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(Episode 7) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

(You may Share on Facebook Walls and Twitters, Drop Comments Below – 300 Lucky Winners will be randomly picked by Feb 28th 2017)

Throughout the day, Banke walked up and down past my office, but I did not invite her in. I had already decided she was the right person for my plans, but I wanted her to stew, she had looked down on me the first day we met. Besides, I didn’t like her, I liked her friend Prisca, but Prisca would not be right for the kind of role I wanted Banke to play. So I made my move.

Leke: “Banks, will you have lunch with me?” I asked as I walked into Kunmi’s office.

Banke: “Oh, I was just about going out for lunch, so we could go together. Just let me freshen up” she rushed out to the restroom.

Kunmi: “How old are you anyway?” she asked without raising her head from the pattern she was cutting.

Leke: “Am twenty one” I lied. I was confident I could pull the age, after all I was big.

Kunmi: “What about your parents?” she stopped what she was doing to look at me.

Leke: “They are dead, I am an orphan” I replied. At least, I was not lying about that.

Kunmi: “Oh sorry dear”

Leke: “Why are you asking these questions, I only asked Banke for lunch, I am not marrying her” I teased.

Kunmi: “Don’t be silly” she replied.

Leke: “Ma’am…” I started, but Kunmi cut me off.

Kunmi: “Mikhail stop calling me ma’am, I am Kunmi not ma’am” she retorted

Leke: “Alright alright, Kunmi, what is going to happen to the collection launch?”

Kunmi dropped her scissors and looked into space thoughtfully; Banke chose that moment to break the silence. I frowned at her; I was going to see if I could make Kunmi talk about Nora’s reaction, she was someone who knew my mother.

Banke: “I am all set, let’s go” she said and we left together…

I took her to a pizza café for pizza and chocolate fudges; I still had that love for chocolates. Not having any at the mental home did not make me lose the habit. While she ate, I watched her; she had beautiful, lean and long fingers, that had rose colored nails, I wondered if she would take on the role I had for her.

Leke: “Do you like me?” I asked suddenly, and watched as she played with the pizza on her plate, obviously thinking of how best to respond.

Banke: “You are a very likeable person; even my sister likes you…”

Leke: “I want us to date” I went in for the kill, she was beating about the bush, it was the only signal I needed.

Banke: “Really? Let me sleep on it” she said

Leke: “How is your friend Prisca, she seems like a nice day” I asked, deliberately. She would know that I noticed Prisca, I even remembered her name. And if she really liked me as I suspected, she would want to secure her position.

Banke: “She is fine, she is probably at her boyfriend’s place” she replied. So, she did not secure her position, but she will before the day ends.

That evening, after work, I was at home, in the small self contained apartment in the boys’ quarter I rented monthly. I was overcome with grief, I missed my mother. I took out her picture and traced the contours of her face. I was certain that she was murdered, by whom, was the puzzle I was trying to solve. Another thing that baffled me, was the complicity of my father, did he know about the killer? I wondered. I thought back to when I was little, and the house. I took my diary where I had been writing in since I got into the mental home and began to sketch the plan of the house. The details were a bit sketchy, but it was usable.  Banke would need the sketch for her undercover duties in the house. I was still drawing the plan, when my phone began to chirp, I saw a strange number and received it.

Leke: “Hello” I said

Banke: “Mikhail, it is Banke. Sorry, I got your number from my sister”

Leke: “Oh that’s cool. How are you, have you had your dinner?”  I asked, turning on my charm.

Banke: “Yes, you?”

Leke: “I have not; will get something to eat out”

Banke: “I could throw something together for you” I refused, but I was glad, she was being caught in the web already.

Leke: “If that is all, I would like to go about my dinner now” I said passively

Banke: “I wanted to tell you that I have accepted your offer to date. I would like us to date” she said

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Leke: “Wow I am happy, we are a team now” I said

Banke: “Yes, see you at the office”

Leke: “You work with us now?”

Banke: “Goat, I am coming because of you” she said and hung up. I pumped my fist in the air.

Days after, my relationship with Banke was going well, she was frequenting the office. Nora however, was nowhere to be found, she had not been in the office. I took a risk one afternoon, and went to my former house. Standing outside the fear, a sense of foreboding suddenly came over me, what if someone recognized me, I thought. But I took courage and hammered on the gate. It was a new gate man, so there was no risk of being recognized here.

Gateman: “Who you dey look for?”

Leke: “I am an employee at Fola fashion house, I am here to see Madam Nora” I said in impeccable English. Our former gateman had been a learned man, so he always communicated in clear cut English. This one was quite different and I was soon to find out.

Gateman: “You dey mad ni, who you dey blow oyinbo for, you dey craze?” he flared up and made to bang the gate in my face, but I held the gate.

Gateman: “Oh, so you want to fight your father abi”

Leke: “Na Madam Nora send me, if you no allow me, she go sack you oh” I said because my instincts told me Nora was not at home, she had probably travelled out of the country, following the debacle at the collection launch. He opened the gate a crack and glanced at me from head to toe. He was probably pleased with what he saw, so he flung the gate wide open. I went in tentatively, looking around the place in which I had been born. Not much had changed, the garden was still well kept, and the house had been freshly painted. I felt nostalgic as I walked in through the oak doors into the large living room. The picture of father when he was been interrogated by the police when Mary was attacked flashed in my head, I looked towards the staircase where I had hidden. It felt like it was yesterday. I walked up the stairs to the living area; I turned into my parents’ room. It seemed no one had lived there since mother died. It had the musty smell of a place not lived in. I opened the wardrobe; mother’s things were still intact.

Leke: “Is Nora scared of coming here?” I asked myself, I left the room and walked to my room. I opened the door and peeked inside; it was no longer like the room I left years ago. It seemed that Nora had taken up residence here. I went in and began to rummage through her things. I did not find anything that was note worthy, so I arranged everything as I had seen it, and left. As I descended the stairs, I bumped into iyaBiliki, my eyes widened in shock.

IyaBiliki: “Who you be and wetin you dey do here?” she asked with her hands on her waist in akimbo.

Leke: “I am a staff in Madam Nora’s company” I said and winced as I said this.

IyaBiliki: “Eh eh, na here is office?” she asked and came closer, peering into my face.

Leke: “She asked to get something from her… her” I paused, and remembered that father once had an office in the house, perhaps Nora had converted it to hers, so I took a risk.

Leke: “She asked me to get something from her office” I concluded.

IyaBiliki: “Which office, since oga die, that witch never use that office”

Leke: “She seemed out of it though, since that collection launch” I said fishing for gossip.

IyaBiliki: “What is you talking. Please come and be going you no know wetindem send me” she pushed me towards the door. I almost pushed back and told her that this house belonged to me, but what would I gain, other than destroy my well laid down plans. It was time to bring Banke in. I opened the door and came face to face with Nora.

She was decked in a black jumpsuit and Christian Louboutine shoes. My eyes were wide in shock when I saw her.

Nora: “You are that graphic designer Kunmi talks so much about aren’t you?”

Leke: “Yes ma’am” I stuttered.

Nora: “So what are you doing here?”

Question: How would Leke get out of the quagmire he has found himself, how would he explain his presence in the house?

Throughout the day, Banke walked up and down past my office, but I did not invite her in. I had already decided she was the right person for my plans, but I wanted her to stew, she had looked down on me the first day we met. Besides, I didn’t like her, I liked her friend Prisca, but Prisca would not be the right for the kind of role I wanted Banke to play. So I made my move.

Leke: “Banks, will you have lunch with me?” I asked as I walked into Kunmi’s office.

Banke: “Oh, I was just about going out for lunch, so we could go together. Just let me freshen up” she rushed out to the restroom.

Kunmi: “How old are you anyway?” she asked without raising her head from the pattern she was cutting.

Leke: “Am twenty one” I lied. I was confident I could pull the age, after all I was big.

Kunmi: “What about your parents?” she stopped what she was doing to look at me.

Leke: “They are dead, I am an orphan” I replied. At least, I was not lying about that.

Kunmi: “Oh sorry dear”

Leke: “Why are you asking these questions, I only asked Banke for lunch, I am not marrying her” I teased.

Kunmi: “Don’t be silly” she replied.

Leke: “Ma’am…” I started, but Kunmi cut me off.

Kunmi: “Mikhail stop calling me ma’am, I am Kunmi not ma’am” she retorted

Leke: “Alright alright, Kunmi, what is going to happen to the collection launch?”

Kunmi dropped her scissors and looked into space thoughtfully; Banke chose that moment to break the silence. I frowned at her; I was going to see if I could make Kunmi talk about Nora’s reaction, she was someone who knew my mother.

Banke: “I am all set, let’s go” she said and we left together…

I took her to a pizza café for pizza and chocolate fudges; I still had that love for chocolates. Not having any at the mental home did not make me lose the habit. While she ate, I watched her; she had beautiful, lean and long fingers, that had rose colored nails, I wondered if she would take on the role I had for her.

Leke: “Do you like me?” I asked suddenly, and watched as she played with the pizza on her plate, obviously thinking of how best to respond.

Banke: “You are a very likeable person; even my sister likes you…”

Leke: “I want us to date” I went in for the kill, she was beating about the bush, it was the only signal I needed.

Banke: “Really? Let me sleep on it” she said

Leke: “How is your friend Prisca, she seems like a nice day” I asked, deliberately. She would know that I noticed Prisca, I even remembered her name. And if she really liked me as I suspected, she would want to secure her position.

Banke: “She is fine, she is probably at her boyfriend’s place” she replied. So, she did not secure her position, but she will before the day ends.

That evening, after work, I was at home, in the small self contained apartment in the boys’ quarter I rented monthly. I was overcome with grief, I missed my mother. I took out her picture and traced the contours of her face. I was certain that she was murdered, by whom, was the puzzle I was trying to solve. Another thing that baffled me, was the complicity of my father, did he know about the killer? I wondered. I thought back to when I was little, and the house. I took my diary where I had been writing in since I got into the mental home and began to sketch the plan of the house. The details were a bit sketchy, but it was usable.  Banke would need the sketch for her undercover duties in the house. I was still drawing the plan, when my phone began to chirp, I saw a strange number and received it.

Leke: “Hello” I said

Banke: “Mikhail, it is Banke. Sorry, I got your number from my sister”

Leke: “Oh that’s cool. How are you, have you had your dinner?”  I asked, turning on my charm.

Banke: “Yes, you?”

Leke: “I have not; will get something to eat out”

Banke: “I could throw something together for you” I refused, but I was glad, she was being caught in the web already.

Leke: “If that is all, I would like to go about my dinner now” I said passively

Banke: “I wanted to tell you that I have accepted your offer to date. I would like us to date” she said

Leke: “Wow I am happy, we are a team now” I said

Banke: “Yes, see you at the office”

Leke: “You work with us now?”

Banke: “Goat, I am coming because of you” she said and hung up. I pumped my fist in the air.

Days after, my relationship with Banke was going well, she was frequenting the office. Nora however, was nowhere to be found, she had not been in the office. I took a risk one afternoon, and went to my former house. Standing outside the fear, a sense of foreboding suddenly came over me, what if someone recognized me, I thought. But I took courage and hammered on the gate. It was a new gate man, so there was no risk of being recognized here.

Gateman: “Who you dey look for?”

Leke: “I am an employee at Fola fashion house, I am here to see Madam Nora” I said in impeccable English. Our former gateman had been a learned man, so he always communicated in clear cut English. This one was quite different and I was soon to find out.

Gateman: “You dey mad ni, who you dey blow oyinbo for, you dey craze?” he flared up and made to bang the gate in my face, but I held the gate.

Gateman: “Oh, so you want to fight your father abi”

Leke: “Na Madam Nora send me, if you no allow me, she go sack you oh” I said because my instincts told me Nora was not at home, she had probably travelled out of the country, following the debacle at the collection launch. He opened the gate a crack and glanced at me from head to toe. He was probably pleased with what he saw, so he flung the gate wide open. I went in tentatively, looking around the place in which I had been born. Not much had changed, the garden was still well kept, and the house had been freshly painted. I felt nostalgic as I walked in through the oak doors into the large living room. The picture of father when he was been interrogated by the police when Mary was attacked flashed in my head, I looked towards the staircase where I had hidden. It felt like it was yesterday. I walked up the stairs to the living area; I turned into my parents’ room. It seemed no one had lived there since mother died. It had the musty smell of a place not lived in. I opened the wardrobe; mother’s things were still intact.

Leke: “Is Nora scared of coming here?” I asked myself, I left the room and walked to my room. I opened the door and peeked inside; it was no longer like the room I left years ago. It seemed that Nora had taken up residence here. I went in and began to rummage through her things. I did not find anything that was note worthy, so I arranged everything as I had seen it, and left. As I descended the stairs, I bumped into iyaBiliki, my eyes widened in shock.

IyaBiliki: “Who you be and wetin you dey do here?” she asked with her hands on her waist in akimbo.

Leke: “I am a staff in Madam Nora’s company” I said and winced as I said this.

IyaBiliki: “Eh eh, na here is office?” she asked and came closer, peering into my face.

Leke: “She asked to get something from her… her” I paused, and remembered that father once had an office in the house, perhaps Nora had converted it to hers, so I took a risk.

Leke: “She asked me to get something from her office” I concluded.

IyaBiliki: “Which office, since oga die, that witch never use that office”

Leke: “She seemed out of it though, since that collection launch” I said fishing for gossip.

IyaBiliki: “What is you talking. Please come and be going you no know wetindem send me” she pushed me towards the door. I almost pushed back and told her that this house belonged to me, but what would I gain, other than destroy my well laid down plans. It was time to bring Banke in. I opened the door and came face to face with Nora.

She was decked in a black jumpsuit and Christian Louboutine shoes. My eyes were wide in shock when I saw her.

Nora: “You are that graphic designer Kunmi talks so much about aren’t you?”

Leke: “Yes ma’am” I stuttered.

Nora: “So what are you doing here?”

Question: How would Leke get out of the quagmire he has found himself, how would he explain his presence in the house?

…. See Episode 8 Below (You don’t wanna Miss this!)AdeLove StoriesPremier Naija Inspirational Blog!

See Episode 1

See Episode 2

See Episode 3

See Episode 4

See Episode 5

See Episode 6

See Episode 7

See Episode 8

EXCLUSIVELY from ADELOVE.COM

(All Rights Reserved…)

(Episode 6) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

(You may Share on Facebook Walls and Twitters, Drop Comments Below – 300 Lucky Winners will be randomly picked by Feb 28th 2017)

I turned and there before me, was Mary, I was dumfounded, I also felt guilty. Straight out of the mental home, I had not thought of her, I was fixated on mother and finding the real cause of her death. I did not remember the one woman, who was not my mother, but loved me no less. I rushed toward her, and then stopped. She was not looking at me; her eyes were on someone else, a slim dude that could be in my age group. She was looking at the boy because, that is how I would look, if I had not grown fat due to sedentary living in the mental home. He had my height and my shape of head, and he was turned away from her. She began to walk towards him, but I intercepted her. She looked up at me, and I stared at her. Unlike Nora, the years had told on her, she did not have a ready smile like before, there were a few crow feet at the edge of her eyes, and a few gray hairs in her mass of hair.  We stared at each other for a few seconds, on her face was a frown; she could not understand why this young lad was standing in her way. Her moment of comprehension came when I smiled.

Mary: “Leke?” my smile was unique; I twitched one side of my mouth upward when I smiled. Despite every change that had occurred in my life, that didn’t change.

Leke: “Yes Mary” I bent a little and embraced her. My eyes welled up with tears; she was like a part of my past that had eluded me.

Mary: “Oh Leke bobo, I knew you were going to make it because you are strong” she said as she wet my tux with tears and phlegm. I pulled her away softly, and looked at her legs.

Mary: “It is a long story”

Leke: “I want to hear it, come on, lets eat somewhere” I pulled her by the hand and took her to Mama Cass. I ordered their special spaghetti with big cow tails, while Mary ordered amala and ewedu. We ate in silence, each of us immersed in our thoughts. After eating, I ordered a bottle of wine for us to talk over.

Mary: “Leke, how do you have the money you are spending?”

Leke: “I work at my mother’s fashion house, and I am being paid”

Mary: “Really, Nora allowed you work there?”

Leke: “She doesn’t know it is me, I go by a different name now”

Mary: “That sounds like something I watch on television, what is your job there?”

Leke: “I work in the creative department as their graphic designer” I replied impatiently.

Mary: “I am asking the wrong questions right?” she asked rhetorically. She was always so perceptive of me, right from the time I was a little boy.

Leke: “You can ask me anything you want though” I said to make her feel better. After a few seconds, I couldn’t pretend not to be curious.

Miami, Florida, USA --- African American couple eating in restaurant --- Image by © DreamPictures/Blend Images/Corbis

Leke: “I am curious, the doctor said, you would never walk again, how are you walking?”

Mary: “It is a long story” she said as a blanket of sadness came over her eyes.

Leke: “We have enough wine for it” I replied, and she looked from me to the bottle of Chardonnay, like she wanted to oppose me drinking wine. But she thought better of it. I was surviving in this cold, cruel world all on my own; I deserved a glass of wine once in a while. The truth was, I had bought the wine for Mary’s sake, and my intention was to seduce her, not sexually but mentally. So that, she would tell me everything, and leave nothing out. It is a trick I learned from the laws of seduction, a book I read while in the mental home. The next person I was going to try this trick on would be Banke.

Mary told me how she had told the police, who came to get her statement that I was innocent, that though she had not seen the face of her assailant, it was a grown up person. Whether it was a man or a woman, she could not tell because the person was wearing a free flowing clothe and masked from head to shoulders. The police had reopened the case, and the heat around my father became much. Many theories were peddled around; some said he had hit on Mary, when she had refused his advances, he had attacked her to punish her, some others said he had slept with her and she was blackmailing him, so he decided to end her life to save face. Just before he was arrested again, Nora approached Mary and gave her a deal she could not say no to.

So, Mary went ahead and withdrew her formal statement, she told the police that I was an unstable child and was on medication. She had also put the question of my mother’s death to rest, as she lied that my mother was suicidal and had tried to kill herself before. I was dumbfounded when she was done. I could not believe that she was capable of such betrayal. I could not say a word, even though my mind was riddled with words. I felt betrayed, but I had also learnt an important lesson, that humans would always look out for themselves first. The reason Mary had betrayed me and my late mother was so she could walk again. After she kept her end of the deal, Nora flew her out of the country for rehabilitation. She underwent numerous surgical procedures before she could walk again. By the time she came back to the country, Nora and my father was already wedded, and they wanted nothing to do with her. She had been living from hand to mouth, from one menial underpaying job to the other. She was still unmarried because, the guilt of what she did, destroyed any relationship she tried to build.

Mary: ‘I am very sorry Leke, I was tempted by the ability to walk. I looked at my life, stuck to a wheel chair and I could not bear it. Forgive me” she said holding my arm entreatingly.

Lleke: “Is your life any better now?” I asked before I could stop myself. I could not deny that I was angry. Mary had the power to change the course of my life, but she didn’t care. She condemned me to a life in a mental home.

Mary: “Forgive me; I have regretted my actions ever since. I have wanted to see you, but the home administrators refused”

She begged to make it up to me, but I wondered how she could ever make it up to me. While she was talking, telling me of her plan to disguise herself and work in the house again, so she could keep watch over Nora.

Mary: “I will disguise myself, anything I will do to make it up to you” she said desperately. I almost told her to go retract her statement, and tell the police the truth. Instead, I said;

Leke: “No, this is something I have to do alone. But you have given me a better idea” I said thoughtfully, the wheels of my mind turning in my head and birthing a perfect idea of how to snare my mother’s murderer.

I thought of a better plan, and I knew just who I was going to use to execute that plan. I smiled and turned to her, even though she had betrayed me, I was still happy to see her because she was the only one from my past who really knew me and what I had been through. So I embraced her. She told me, she had heard about the collection launch and had come to demand that the mental home administrators allow her see me, before luck had shined on her and she had seen me. I was not the least warmed by this bit of information because, coming to see me was not the essential thing she could have done, she could have gone to the police and told them the truth.

The next day, I rushed to the fashion house; I needed to be there for all the gossip, it was the only way I would know how my plan had fared. The receptionist as usual was ever ready with gossip, she hammered on about how guests had fallen on each other, how one guest had fallen on someone to find out it was her fiancé who brought another girl to the show, whereas she was also with another man in the show.

Receptionist: “But, who could have played such mean prank?” she asked.

Leke: “You are asking the wrong question. The right question would be, why did she react the way she did?” The receptionist shrugged with her eyes wide open, the question was bigger than her. Then came Kunmi, with Banke in tow.

Leke: “What is she doing here?” I asked pointing at Banke.

Kunmi: “Rude much. Well she suddenly has an interest in fashion designing after last night’s debacle”

Leke: “I would wonder if it is fashion that interests her or drama” I said, which got me a stink eye from Kunmi.

Banke: “Hello Mikhail” she said with a small smile. I just nodded and walked away.

Receptionist: “That boy is beginning to put on airs” I heard the receptionist say lightheartedly.

I was working on some prototypes in my cubic office when I heard the click of heels coming towards the office. It was Nora; she walked past on her way to her office without a sideways glance. I rushed out of the office to take a look at her receding figure. I was surprised because, just yesterday, she had been shocked out of her mind, but today she was back on her feet like nothing happened.

Leke: “Does this mean…” I began to ponder the possibility that I was wrong. No, I was not wrong, I would need to up my game, and it was time to bring Banke in.

Question: What does Leke have in mind for his late father’s widow, and what role would Banke play?

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(Episode 5) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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I looked at her in the eye, even if she recognized me, I was not going to cower.

Nora: “What is your name?” she asked

Leke: “I am Mikhail ma’am”

Nora: “Are you computer literate, can you do graphics?” she asked impatiently

Leke: “Sure ma’am” my heart was already singing because I knew where it was leading to.

Nora: “My graphic designer just quit, and our collection launch is close, can you fill in till we get someone else? You will be paid of course”

Leke: “Yes, I can do this” I said enthusiastically

Nora: “Come on then” she took me to the creative department floor; I had been raised from the ground floor to the top floor. This department was the most important, if they had a problem, the whole company got a problem.  If I wanted to learn the rudiments of my mother’s business, this was the department for me, so I was determined that this arrangement would be a permanent one. After my first day using the usual applications to transform hand drawn cloth designs, I went online and found out about AutoCAD. I spent the entire night studying it in an all night café around the company. The next day, though I had deep eye bags, I was ready to take the whole creative department by storm. After making the first batch of dresses using my AutoCAD, the creative director ran to my cubic office which was a cut out from the storage rooms. She was around thirty or so, but had this twentyish look about her. She was dressed in a midi skirt and a blouse with a flamboyant bow on it. From her dressing, you needed no one to tell you, she made the designs the fashion house owns.

Director: “You made these?” she said with her eyes wide behind her wire mesh glasses, holding the prototypes in her hand. Nora walked in at that time; she always seemed to walk in at the right time. I have noticed that she did not actively engage in the day to day activities of the company.

Nora: ‘What is the excitement about?” she asked obviously not pleased with the bickering.

Director: “These prototypes are the best I have seen, since I started working here, and he made them” she said. Nora looked at me, and smiled. She was probably pleased with herself for bringing me on board.

Nora: “I think you got the job then, congratulations” she said simply and proceeded to her office.

Director: “I am Kunmi, I have been designing for this company ever since, even when the real madam was still here”

Leke: “You knew my mother!” I exclaimed and immediately regretted it, as I saw the look on Kunmi’s face.

Kunmi: “Your mother?”

Leke: “Not my mother jare, I am always thinking of my mother ni, she died many years ago” I said hitting my head in an exaggerated manner.

Kunmi: “Same, with the original madam. I love her, she is the reason, I am still working here, if I leave here, I am going to open my own fashion brand, I will probably carry all my fans which are the customers of this brand. This present madam knows nothing about the fashion industry and she will not calm down to learn.” She said. I put it in mind, to keep my head down and learn all I could from Kunmi, I had just found the career I would be in. My mother left big shoes and I was going to fill them.

Leke: “Wow, I wish I met the former madam, she sounds interesting”

Kunmi: “Ha, she is oh. She had a flair for fashion, I learnt most of the things I know today from her. It is a pity she died as she did”

Leke: ‘How did she die?” I asked, but Kunmi had sealed her lips.

Kunmi: “So I am glad you are our graphics designer, you bring my designs to life even before they are cut. I love it, what you say we do lunch, with my younger sister, she just got admitted into the University, you will like her” I accepted and that was how I found a new family where I had none.

Lunchtime came, and I followed Kunmi to an upscale restaurant, there was a simple air about Kunmi, but she didn’t do anything in a simple way. I felt the restaurant was too much for a simple lunch, but what did I know? I spent years inside a mental home. She was ordering for both of us, when two young girls walked up to us. One was the exact replica of Kunmi, Olive colored skin and all.

Kunmi: “Hey, Banks you are here. Make yourself comfortable, I was about ordering food. Oh and yeah, this is Mikhail, my colleague at the office, Mikhail this is Banke my sister and her friend, Prisca”

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Banke: “Sister mi, this one is too small for you oh” she said eying me from head to toe, she even bent to look at my shoes.

Kunmi: “Naughty girl, he is my protégée, a genius if you like. If you see what he made of my designs, he landed himself a good job today” she said .All the while Prisca was just looking at me, like she had never seen my kind before, while Banke was more or less disinterested in me or what her sister was saying. The meals came and I dove into mine, I had not forgotten table etiquettes, but I have also not seen this good food in years. It seemed however that I was irritating Banke the more.

Banke: “If you ask me, he looks more like a stray, than your colleague, sister mi. Is Fola fashion house now employing strays?”

Prisca: “Haba Banke” her friend said.

Kunmi: “Banks, be nice” I dropped my cutleries, and dapped at my mouth. I disliked her immediately; she was just like Nora, beautiful, but not beautiful in my eyes. Latter along the way, Banke would fall head over heels for me, and she would be my first victim.

The day for the collection launch finally arrived, I had something planned, I wanted to test a theory I had, the outcome would determine my next step.  I was busy the night before with the creative team, they were putting finishing touches to the collection, and I was there every step of the way. I had decided I was going to study fashion and design in one of the good fashion institutes in Lagos, but I was going to gain as much hands on experience as I could from Kunmi. I saw Nora less often as I would have liked, she was rarely at the fashion house, but she was always there to collect the accolades like she was involved. I knew she would turn up for the collection launch in her best, ready to reap where she did not sow, and I was ready for her.

The guests had arrived, the host for the show was already thrilling the guest, some musicians had performed, and it was time to showcase the designs. Nora came on the podium, dressed in a vibrant dress that I recognized from the prototype I made. She had a good body so it looked good on her, I could not deny that fact. I myself, had gotten myself cleaned up, I was dressed in a sleek Tuxedo. I had been collecting monthly pay which was more than most boys my age earned, so I invested in a good Tuxedo. I knew Banke would be attending, and I really wanted to impress her. Yes, it is the Nigerian mentality, we impress people we don’t even like. The models began to strut on the runway in the clothes designed for that collection, they were halfway through all the designs when the lights went off, and the big projector screen came on. A voice boomed out of the speakers saying;

Voice: “You killed me, confess! Confess now” the voice was guttural, like an animal’s.

People screamed, but Nora screamed the loudest, she screamed till she slumped on the ground in unconsciousness. Pandemonium broke as the guests began to find any way to escape the hall. I looked up to the screen and smiled. On the screen was the picture of my mother, with her neck slit, blood oozing out unto the white bed sheet as she splayed on the bed. I had found the picture on the internet, and tweaked it with my new found graphic designs skills, to look more horrific. An ambulance was called and Nora was wheeled into it, her face had lost all color, despite the makeup on her face, she looked dead, only the slow rise and fall of her chest made people know she was still alive. The collection launch had ended in a mess. But most importantly, my theory had been tested, the coming days would tell. I walked out of the event center, into the hotel’s lobby. The event had been held at the prestigious Eko hotel and suites’ event center. I bumped into Banke, she glanced at my outfit and I could tell from the faint smile on her lips that she was impressed.

Banke: “Hey Mikhail, have you see my sister Kunmi?”

Leke: “No I haven’t “I replied her in a disinterested way, and brushed past her. I turned back to see her mouth open in disbelief. I went out the gate of the hotel, hoping to catch a bus to the hospital, I needed to know how Nora was faring. I was about jumping into one of the yellow and black stripped buses, when I heard my name… my real name. In my new life, after the mental home, no one knew me by my real name. “Adeleke” the voice called. I turned, with fear etched on my face and behold…

Question: Who knows Adeleke in his new life, has his past caught up with him?

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(Episode 4) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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Nora took me in her SUV, we drove in silence for a while, with me wondering if she was really taking me to the police station, so I could see my father. Then she spoke to me, in words that were shocking to my ears.

Nora: “Adeleke, I know you think I am harsh, or I don’t like you. I understand you are going through a lot of changes since your mother died, but you have to trust that I and your dad are here for you” she said, her eyes on the road. I was looking at her the whole time, trying to see if she meant what she said. But Nora had this kind of face that you could never use to tell what she was ruminating, in the recesses of her mind.

Leke: “But you lied against me” I said, trying to figure her out.

Nora: “A harmless lie my dear. I did not want to worry your dad, he just lost his wife” It sounded reasonable to me, so that when she offered me Ribenna juice, I did not hesitate, I drank all of it, and I smiled at her.

When we got to the police station, my father and his lawyer were already at the counter, I rushed and held him, I had missed him, and after the talk with Nora, I attributed all his new characters to losing Mother.

Bamidele: “My son, I am so sorry for what you are going through” he said and kissed my head, my heart burst with love for him. Then my world shattered…

Nora: “You have to let Bamidele go, Adeleke confessed to attacking his nanny, Mary” she threw the bomb and kept her usual passive face, like she was not about to destroy my life forever. I looked at father, who was staring at Nora, I wondered if he also knew about this.

Leke: “Father, is that why you wanted me here?” I asked

Policeman: “What kind of mock story is this? That this little boy mangled those legs I saw?”

Nora: “I did not believe him, until I remembered that his dad had told him he is schizophrenic” she said. I looked to my father, but he was not even looking at me, he would not save me, nobody would save me. My mother was dead, Mary was decapacitated, and my father had just turned against me. My life had just taken a turn for the worst. The police immediately seized me, they took me into their interrogation room, where they kept asking me all sorts. While I was in their custody, my room at home had been searched, coincidentally they had found a thick iron rod, and also gone through my books. It seemed the fact that I read books written by atheists made me an evil person, capable of attacking his nanny. From the police station, I was taken to the hospital where my blood and other body fluids were tested. Traces of Zolpidem were found in my blood, and it was concluded that I was mentally unstable. So instead of being taken to prison, I was a child, the court sent me to a mental institution.

The day I was led into the mental institution, Father was beside me, but I made sure no part of my body touched him. I already hated him.

Bamidele: “It is all for the best son” he said, as the door closed, locking me in for ten long years.

In those years, photos of my mother and the books I usually read were my succor. I went into the mental institution with a plan, I was going to be the easiest patient they had, pretend to take all my medications; of course I would not really take the medications because they made you crazy if you are not. So I would always stay up in my room reading and talking to my mother’s pictures. I am sure wherever she was; she would be moaning the fate that had befallen her beloved son.

One day, Nora came to visit; this was on my seventh birthday. She brought cake which she shared with the other children loonies.

Nora: “How are you?” she said as we settled into a couch in the visitors lounge.

Leke: “I know what you did. That juice you gave me in the car, which was why that drug was found in my blood. I have never been medicated before. You lied against me again, are you going to tell me now that you were doing it for my good?” I asked her in a very cold voice.

Nora: “I have been selfish, your father is innocent of the crime he was accused of, and he has a governorship ambition in the coming election, I could not let him go down for that. Would you have preferred your dad to be destroyed?” she asked. All the while, my face had been turned away, but when I turned to look at her, the light fell on an object, a big diamond rock sat on her finger.

Leke: “You are getting married to my father?” I asked incredulously. It was just months after my mother’s death.

Nora: “You will probably spend your entire life here, but you will be well taken care of, I will take care of your father and all he has” she said and walked away swiftly. I got up to leave for my room, when I heard my mother’s name mentioned on television.

News Anchor: “Disturbing news about the death of FolakeAboderin has emerged just days after BamideleAboderin’s engagement to society lady, Nora. A reliable source tells us that her neck was slit right inside the Aboderins mansion. The question on everyone’s lips is, did she slit her own throat, could she have been suffering from mental sickness, seeing as her only son has been committed to a mental home” I stood transfixed as I gazed at the television screen.

Leke: “My mother’s throat had been slit?” I whispered in disbelief. I knew for a fact that she had not done that to herself, she loved life too much to kill herself. She was looking forward to Christmas, she was looking forward to seeing me grow, and she could not have slit her own throat. I went back to my room to ponder the things I had heard. I was sure that the same person, who killed my mother, also attacked Mary. What did the person gain from harming these women? If I found the gain, I could find the killer.

Ten Years Later

On my sixteenth birthday, I was certified normal and released from the mental home, straight into the streets. Many years had passed, but the pain in my heart over my mother’s murder had not been eroded. It was as fresh as it was, years ago. My first port of call was my mother’s fashion house, I was sure no one would recognize me because, staying put in one place for years had taken a toll on my weight. Where I was a skinny child, I was now a burly teenager, I had height too. I walked into the shiny building, with polished floors that reflected your image as you walked, and big chandeliers hanging from the high ceilings. I was a bit lost, till I sighted the receptionist. She was a pretty lady with over toned skin and the longest Brazilian weave I ever saw. I was at her desk asking after a job opening, when Nora walked in elegantly with her aides running after her. She looked the same as she did the first time I saw her, ten years ago. She was still elegant in face and physique, and yet still not beautiful in my eyes.

Leke: “Who is that woman?” I asked, being careful not to sound interested.

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Receptionist: “She is the owner of this place; she is a powerful woman oh.” The receptionist replied with delight, she was ready to divulge all the juicy details I was sure. I had found my first informant.

Leke: “What of her husband?”

Receptionist: “Ha he is late oh. Before he died eh, he was just like a vegetable, paralyzed from up to down. Madam tried during that period oh. But she is bouncing back sha” she replied, licking her mouth like the gossip was sweet. I was stunned at first; my father was dead, now I was truly an orphan. I did not mourn my father because I was not sure of his role in my mother’s death.

So I started as a cleaner in my mother’s company, giving them false names, I kept my life as AdelekeAboderin in a box and resumed life as Mikhail Samoa, a Ghanaian boy, it was a low level job and there were no security checks. I also began to go for GCE and JAMB classes in the evening, I had my plans, and they would not work without a sound formal education. While I worked, I found out things about Nora, how she lived her life these past years. One day, I had gone to check my GCE results and found out I aced my papers, it was not a surprise though. In the mental home, I had a gateman smuggle in books for me to read, so I was almost genius, studying was a lifeline to me. So while, I was celebrating with a few workers in the lobby, Nora walked in with her aides.

Nora: “What is going on here?” she barked.

Receptionist: “Sorry ma’am, Mikhail just aced his GCE and JAMB” she said. She turned to me and said,

Nora: “You!” My heart skipped a beat.

Question: Does Nora recognize Adeleke, is this the end of his plans?

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(Episode 3) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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Nora: “You should have stayed in your room as your father said. Always listen to your elders” she said her eyes on father, who was scowling at me. He was obviously blaming me for disobeying him, but wasn’t he the one who told the police two different tales? Adults are always blaming kids for things that they did.

Police: “I consider this an obstruction of justice. We will hear from the boy if he knows anything about it” the taller police man said as he came closer and squatted to my level.

Policeman: “Your nanny Mary is in the hospital, she was attacked last night in this house, her two legs are broken, she may never walk again, if you know anything that will help us catch the culprit, your nanny will love that.” I was already weeping at this point, Mary’s legs were broken and she would never walk again, who would take care of me now, I had lost my mother, now I was going to lose my nanny?

Leke: “The last time I saw her, she tucked me in for the night, and she stayed with me till I slept. I woke up to a scream, a woman’s scream. I was too scared to come out, I thought my father was dead too”

Policeman: “Why would you think that?” I looked at father, he had a pained look on his face, and Nora on the other hand was looking intently at me, hanging on my every word.

Leke: “The last time I heard a scream, my mother died” I said through choked sobs, just the mention of my mother brought sadness and tears. The policemen looked thoughtful, and began to scribble in their writing pads.

Policeman: “So you did not see anything that night, except hear a scream?”

royal-prince3

Leke: “I saw feet, they stopped at my door, I was so scared”

Policeman: “What did you do, did you go out?”

Leke: “I cannot remember, I woke up in my bed, my father was with me”

Bamidele: “We found him passed out by the door, which is the reason we tried keeping him away from you. He just lost his mom, he is traumatized” father added. The policemen kept scribbling in their pads.

Policeman: “What killed your wife?” At that father stood up angrily from the couch and walked over to the policeman who had asked the question.

Bamidele: “I won’t allow you disrespect me in my own house, and in front of my kid. If you have no more questions, you best leave”

Policeman: “Being a brute won’t get you anywhere, because we realized that you as the head of the family did not call the police, you covertly took her to the hospital. The public only know your wife died, but no one knows how she died, her burial, there was no lying in state. Then days later, your nanny is attacked in this house, you refused to call the police”

Bamidele: ‘If I did not call the police, then how are you here?”

Policeman: “One of your nieghbours called. Mister man, you will follow us to the station to give your statement”

Bamidele: “I am going nowhere with you, look here, do you know who I am, do you think you can just come here and say rubbish. If you are not arresting me, I advise you go do your home work” father replied.

Policeman: “This is not the end, we will be back” he said and they left the house.

Nora: “It is all your son’s fault, he is so unruly” she said angrily. Father looked at me in a way he had never looked at me before, like I was a nuisance to him. He walked to me in quick strides and grabbed me by the arm.

Bamidele: “You will do as I say” he said and pulled me up the stairs

Leke: “Father, father, you are hurting me” I cried as he dragged me up the stairs. When he got to my room, he opened the door and pushed me in, this time he locked the door on the other side. I banged the door, but no one heard me, or if they did, they were forbidden to answer me. I cried my eyes out, till I fell asleep. In my dream, I saw mother, she had her throat slashed, blood was gushing out from the slit, and her fingers were all covered in blood. I screamed till I woke up, I was still screaming. I heard the door rattle, it opened and one of the female house servants came in. We called her IyaBiliki, I rarely saw her because, she was always in the kitchen.

IyaBiliki: “Leke bobo, why you dey shout like say you see ghost, abi you see your mama?” she asked. I nodded my head slowly, I was disturbed by what I saw of my mother and I began to wonder if that was how she died.

Leke: “How did my mother die?”

IyaBiliki: “Omo mi, this question you dey ask me, ei big pass me oh. Na only your papa go fit answer you” she said in a sober voice, then she held me to her bosom and began to rock me.

IyaBiliki: “Ha death, death is not fair” she said aloud. The smell of soot and cooking was beginning to choke me from her clothes, so I pulled away softly. I didn’t realize I had been crying, IyaBiliki seeing that I was crying, made to pull me again into her bosom, but I shifted away fast, I couldn’t bear the smell that emanated from her one more time. I looked behind her and saw that she brought a tray.

IyaBiliki: “Ha no mind me oh, I bin dey bring food for you, when I hear you dey shout. I prepare omiobe with correct brokoto” I smiled; this was one of the joys of having Yoruba parents… lots of meat and big ones too. I sat at my reading table;IyaBiliki cleared my books to one side and dished my food. As I was eating, it struck me, that this was the first meal that I was eating in my room, and all by myself. When mother was alive, she made sure that she was home for my meal times, even if she rushed out afterwards, but she must be there to eat with me. I missed my mother all the more.

Two days after that incident, I have been restricted to my room, I was not allowed out. So I began to read all the books I had read before, just to fill the void I felt. I could not wait for school to resume, so I could escape my reality and mix up with other kids my age. The police came to our house with an arrest warrant for father; somehow they had concluded that father was responsible for the attack on Mary. When father was arrested, Nora became scarce in the house; I was released from the house arrest I had been subjected to, by father. I took this time to see Mary in the hospital, iyaBiliki who was now in charge of taking care of me, took me to see her. Her state was grotesque, her legs have been mangled. I wondered who could have done such horrible thing to a simple woman such as Mary.

Leke: “There really is no God, if there is, why do good people suffer so” I began to sob, so great was my pain. It was obvious from where I was standing, that Mary may never walk again, if she could not walk, then she could not stay in our house. It seemed to me, there was a force trying desperately to make me all alone. I was scared of that line of thought because, it would mean, my father was next. I went close, and held Mary’s hand, while I stared at her intently, like I was willing her to open her eyes. And she did…

Mary’s eyes opened and held me strongly like she was glaring at me, she held my hand tightly and I got scared, I almost whimpered when she spoke in a soft tone that belied her looks.

Mary: “Leke, you are not safe in that house. Something is out to get your family, they killed your mother. You have to leave that house” she said

Leke: “But Aunt Mary, where would I go? I am only six!” I exclaimed.

Mary: “But you are stronger than you think, are you not Leke bobo?” she said, I smiled in spite of the confusion I felt.

Leke: “Aunt Mary, I am scared. I saw the feet outside my door, I was scared, I am still scared”

Mary: “I see the books you read, you are stronger than you know, call your maternal grandfather to come get you” I nodded my head even when I knew there was no way I could access grandpa’s number.

Leke: “My father was arrested” I said simply, at a loss of whatelse to say.

Mary wanted to speak but stopped, she was looking at someplace behind me. I turned and saw Nora standing there.

Nora: “Adeleke, your father needs you at the police station. Mary, I am deeply sorry about your condition, hope you get well” she said.

Mary: “Leke, don’t go” she said even as it seemed like she was slipping back into unconsciousness.

Leke: “But my father needs me” Mary shook her head slowly, and then her eyes closed. I looked at Nora, who stared back with a passive face that divulged nothing of her intentions.

Leke: “Let’s go” I said and walked ahead of her, out of the room where Mary was kept.

Question: Is Leke safe going with Nora? Who attacked Mary?

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(Episode 2) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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After mother’s burial, my maternal family left the house, and so did father and Nora. I was left once again to myself, but this time, there was no counting the hours until mother would be back and filling it up with reading. There was no anticipating mother’s voice as she shouts “Leke bobo” as she climbed the stairs. The house was quiet and cold, it was like mother had carried the life of the house to her grave, or perhaps, she was the life of the house. With her sing song laughter that rang around the house and made me smile whenever I heard it, even with her shouts when she was angry with the house servants, she made the house alive. Now it was just cold and dead. I lay on my bed, not bothering with my shoes. The rain began to fall lightly, I thought of mother in the grave, the rain falling on her. She had hated the rain when she was alive, she said it made everywhere dank and colorless, but I suspected it made her cold, as she always layered on clothes when it began to rain. Who would protect her now from the pelting of the rain, she was there alone in the grave, not even her beloved son had stayed back to keep her company. A line from a sermon I heard in church sometime ago crept into my little mind.

“The dead has nothing to do with the living” I cried, I hit the bed, hoping to inflict some of the pain I felt on it. I heard the door open, and before I saw her, I knew it was Mary. Mary is not intrusive, I was only six but when she enters my room, she does it like am older.

Mary: “Leke, I brought you pop tarts” she said. The mention of “pop tarts” reminded me of my shopping spree with mother, a day before Christmas.

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Christmas had come and gone, even with the New Year, and for the first time, the other rich kids did not get floored by me. All the expensive things mother had picked up for me, were in my wardrobe untouched, I detested them.

“Take them away” I said in a low tone, my throat choked with sobs. Mary came to the bed and pulled me into her arms, and rocked me like a baby. Then, the door opened for the second time, and the devil’s mistress came in. She was wearing black, and she was wearing a dark makeup. She reminded me of “Lucifer’s Queen”, a book I read a fortnight ago.

Nora: “Don’t you have something to do in the kitchen or something?” she asked rudely, glaring at Mary.

Mary: “My job description is limited to Leke’s needs” she replied her, and began to loosen the lace of my shoes.

Nora: “Is he not a little old for a nanny? Please leave the boy, he can undress himself” Mary got up abruptly; I knew she was vexed, but was trying to control her temper.

Mary: “The boy has just lost his mother, why are you picking on him?”

Nora: “Why would you say a despicable thing like that?” she yelled on top of her voice. My father came in at that moment; he was probably looking for his executive secretary.

Bamidele: “What is going on here?” he asked looking frightened, like he was expecting another bad news. At that point, I realized I was only thinking of myself, but my father was also in grief too, he had just lost his wife, but that’s what kids should do right? Worry about themselves, but I am not like most kids, I understand what Adults do not expect me to understand. I was not that close with my father, we have our moments, when he was not busy being pursuing millions. I was still thinking that me and dad have to grief together, we have both lost the woman we both loved, when Nora opened her mouth and released the bomb.

Nora: “Adeleke is just being a naughty boy, he asked for pop tarts, now he said he wants chocolates” My eyes opened wide in disbelief. I knew adults lie, but they always had a reason, but she was lying for no reason. What was she up to.

Bamidele: “Give the boy whatever he wants” he barked, his frustration was evident on his face.

Leke: “She is lying father, I asked for nothing, Mary was just here when she entered and asked Mary to leave, Mary…”

Mary: “It is alright, Leke’ she said and patted me on the head. Nora was so vexed that Mary could just stop me from giving an explanation to my father, that the veins of her neck stood out and her eyes became even darker. The truth was, Mary had a lot of leverage with my parents because they depended solely on her to take care of me. They saw she was good to me, she gave them peace of mind, and they could pursue their dreams without worrying about me.

Bamidele: “What do you want, Leke?”

Leke: “I want my mummy” I said as fat tears rolled down my cheeks. Father crossed over in two long strides and pulled me into his arms. He began to weep, sobs shook his body. We were both sad, we had both lost our woman.

Nora: “Bamidele, you know you have to be strong, you have a company to run” she said as she walked over to us and extricated my father from the embrace, then she embraced him. I watched them and wondered what kind of secretary called her boss by name and embraced him in such manner. My little mind could already see what she was doing, it was the reason she had lied, she was warming her way into father’s heart.

Nora: “Come on, let’s go make you some tea to calm your nerves, you are meeting with the investors from…”

Leke: “You know what else I want, dad? I want her gone” I interrupted her, pointing my finger at her.

Nora: “Oh my God, Bamidele, your son is being nasty” she began to cry, her mascara ran down her face, she looked just like a witch.

Bamidele: “Apologize to Aunt Nora now, Leke” Father thundered, gone was the man, who was crying at the loss of his wife.

Leke: “I am sorry” I said, trembling at father’s anger.

Bamidele: “That’s better, Mary I do not know what you have been teaching this boy” he said. Mary looked up at him, with pain in her eyes, this was the first time, father complained about the way she handled me. She turned and looked at Nora; she was obviously blaming her for this change.

Nora: “Let’s just go” she murmured and pulled my father out of the room. Mary told me to go to the bathroom and shower, after which I wore my pajamas and another day without my mother ended or so I thought.

I fell asleep the moment my body hit the bed, my six year old body was tired, even though my mind was still trying to comprehend the things that were changing. Then a piercing scream rend the quiet atmosphere in the house, it was coming from a room on the same floor. I got up with fear in my heart, was I going to lose my father too. I had woken up to this type of scream and my mother had died after ward, was it my father’s turn. I was too scared to move, I stood in front of the door, unable to turn the knob. I saw the shadow of two feet stop in front of my door, and my heart lurched into my mouth, the feet traipsed down the hallway, as the scream grew louder. The fear of the unknown gripped me and paralyzed me, I fell down in a heap.

When, I woke up, my room was lit by the sunlight streaming in, through the flowery curtains Mother had decorated my room with. Fear gripped me as I thought of last night.

Leke: “Father!” I screamed out in fear, I could not bear to lose my father; he was all I had now.

Bamidele: “I am here son, do not be afraid” he replied as I hugged him fiercely, and then I noticed Nora looking down at him with a menacing glare. I looked around and could not find Mary. That was when I remembered the tiny detail about last night. It was a woman’s scream I heard.

Leke: “Father, where is Mary?” I asked eagerly. Father looked at me with sad eyes and began to pat my head. I pushed his hand away angrily; he was trying to hide something away from me.

Bamidele: “Calm down Leke, Mary is going to be alright”

Leke: “She was alright when I went to sleep last night.” Before my father could explain further, he was informed by one of the housekeepers that policemen were downstairs waiting for him.

Bamidele: “Adeleke, please stay in your room and do not come out” he said and ushered everyone out, he closed the door but did not lock it. I sat on my bed and pondered. My father had never called me “Adeleke” before; things were changing fast, too fast for my little mind to comprehend. I went to my reading table where a picture frame of mother stood; I picked it up and held it to my chest. After a while, I dropped it, my curious mind wanted to know what was happening downstairs and why Mary had not come to my room. I opened the door confidently, knowing everyone was downstairs and walked down the hallway in a hurry. I went down the stairs, in slow quiet paces. Just before the landing, a bit obscured from people in the living room, I squatted to listen.

Police: “How long has Mary been working for you?” I arched my eyebrows, why were they talking about Mary? I asked myself.

Bamidele: “Since Leke my son, was a baby. He is six years old now” father replied.

Police: “One last question, where is your son?” I heard the police man ask, it seemed I came when it was all over.

Bamidele: “My son is not in the house, he went to be with his grandfather” I heard father lie to the police man. Why was he lying to a policeman? I asked myself, nobody was giving any answers.

Police: “Mary is still in coma at the hospital, it seems she went into the shock. I am surprised though that someone that has been with your child since infancy will be attacked in your house and nobody from this household is at the hospital with her”

Bamidele: “I had to take care of my son” he said before he realized he had told the police that his son was away from home.

Police: “Is it the same son, you told us went to his grandfather’s?”

Leke: “I am here, no need scolding my father” I said as I walked down to the living room, father just shook his head in resignation.

Question: What happened to Mary?

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(Episode 1) Chronicle of a Royal Prince and the Devil Incarnate

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I was born with a silver spoon; my parents were the crème de la crème of society being that, my mother was the only daughter of the Oba of Lagos, and my father, the chairman of Balon Oil group. Suffice it to say, I was destined for a good life… or not.

I was six years old when mother died. That day was the worst day of my life, it was the day that the stars aligned for evil, and the Universe changed my lot. The day before mother died, she had taken me, her beloved son on a shopping spree because Christmas was in two days. She had been so busy with her fashion house, that I had thought that this year’s Christmas would be my day of mockery as I would not be wearing any new clothes. We shopped the length and breadth of Balogun market, entering only the exclusive stores with their expensive, state-of-the-art interior décor. In this kind of stores, you must be alighting from a 2016 model of car, and be dressed in new season clothes, for any of the salesperson to attend you. After shopping, the six years old me needed a break; mother took me to a fast food restaurant, where I had lots of ice cream and pop tarts to satisfy my little heart. How would I have known that this would be my last time with mother? It was like the biblical last supper.

I slept like a prince, counting the days to Christmas, when I could show off my new expensive attire to the other rich kids in the estate. I always wore the best even when the other kids had richer parents because, when money meets a fashionista, a novel idea is birthed. Mother was fashion oriented so she had an eye for design and fabric, with this precision; she picked my clothes at the store. I was in lala land when I heard a piercing scream; it was unmistakably my mother’s. I Jumped out of bed and hurried down the lit hallway, down to my parents’ wing. Before I could turn the door knob, a hand gripped me and scooped me off my feet.

Me: “Leave me alone, I want to save my mother” I cried because, so close to my parents’ room, I could hear mother’s groans, amidst other voices. I turned and saw Mary, my favorite nanny. Her eyes were red rimmed like she had been crying.

Mary: “Leke bobo, your mother will be fine, your dad will take care of her” she whispered and stroked my head as she usually did on those nights that mother was out late and I was unable to sleep. She took me back to my bedroom, and pressed down a door knob by the bedlamp, which brought a maid to the room.

Mary: “Bring Leke, his favorite hot chocolate” she instructed.

Leke: “I don’t want chocolate, I want my mummy” I wailed. We all heard footsteps coming down the hall to my bedroom, the door opened and there was a young lady glaring at us. She was lithesome, with very fair skin, and deep dark eyes. She had long black wavy hair, and she looked like the people my science teacher called “half caste” when she was teaching us the races of the world. She would have been beautiful, but the aura and the permanent scowl on her face, made it hard for me to associate beauty with her. My nanny Mary was beautiful, even though she didn’t have the body that this woman had, even though she did plain sade braids, even though her hands were callused from all the hard work she had done in her life. But she, not this woman was beautiful, because where this woman inspired fear, Mary inspired love and security. So, I saw her as ugly and in one of my moods in the future, I would call her that, to her face.

Woman: “You will have chocolate and keep your mouth shut”

Leke: “Who are you to tell me how to act in my father’s house, go away, I want my mummy” I retorted, fat tears streaming down my eyes. That was my first encounter with the woman who would turn out to be my tormentor. She did not reply me, but the look she gave me, caused fear in my little heart. I hid my face in Mary’s arms and bawled my eyes out. I knew in my heart that something was very wrong with my mother, if not, who was this woman? And why was she ordering me around in my house.

When I woke up, the room was empty; Mary was nowhere to be found, she had pulled the curtains to give the room a cool ambience, but my dreams had been filled with scary scenarios that involved my mother. I remembered I had heard my mother scream last night, so I jumped out of bed, in my Tom and Jerry pajamas, and rushed to my parents’ room. My parents’ room was also empty, so I rushed downstairs to the living room, and saw that my mother’s family had arrived, father, Bamidele, was sitting alone on a couch, and his face was sober, his sister Aunt Jumoke was sobbing and retying her wrapper a thousand and one times. Something had gone wrong while I was asleep.

Leke: “Father?” I called softly, but my voice carried and everyone turned to look at me as I stood on the last stair, afraid to move forward into the room. My father stretched out his arms and I ran, all the way into his arms. He began to weep, holding me tightly like I was his lifeline. Mother’s dad, my maternal grandfateher, the Oba was sitting with his wives; he looked at me and sighed, a long and sad sigh.

Oba: “Ha death, why are you so wicked, could you not have spared her for the sake of this little boy?” he lamented. I turned to my father and asked for my mother. At this question, the women present, began to sob and sing a sorrowful song in Yoruba, iya ni wura.

Leke: “Where is my mother?” I asked again, crying. I was having a bad feeling, and I knew at that moment that something had happened to my mother.

Bamidele: “Your mother has gone to meet the Lord” my father replied me.

Leke: “My mother is dead?” I burst into fresh wailing. I was just six years old, but I was wise beyond my age. My parents were business people, so I was left to myself most of the time, fending for myself meant, what I read was not censored, so I read anything I laid my hands on. I had begun to read books about Metaphysics, and I was also beginning to question the existence of God. So I knew people died and we would never see them again, I also knew people died not because they wanted to. Also, having heard my mother’s screams, I knew she had died a painful death. Telling me “she had gone to meet the lord” was not going to obscure things for me.

Leke: “What killed her?” I asked between bursts of sobs. The room fell quiet at my question; it was a big question coming from a child such as I was.

Oba: “Somebody should take this child away from here” my maternal grandfather said in a strong voice. Mary took me from my father’s arms and up to my bedroom.

On the day that my mother would be buried, I saw that same woman who had shunned me the day my mother died; she was hovering around my father. I was walking beside Mary, so I asked her.

Leke: “Who is that woman?”

Mary: “That’s your father’s personal assistant”

Leke: “What is she doing here though” I murmured under my breath.

Mary: “Don’t be silly, she and other staff are here to condole with your dad”

Leke: “And was she also condoling with dad on the night mother was screaming?” I asked. Mary looked at me and shook her head pitifully. While I was conversing with Mary, the object of my discourse walked up to me and took my hand. On her face was plastered a forced smile.

Woman: “Adeleke, I am Nora, you will be seeing me a lot in your house, I have to help your dad cope with the loss. I suggest we get to know ourselves” her red painted fingernails dug into my supple flesh.

Leke: “Everyone calls me Leke, and please you are hurting my hand” I mouthed off.

Nora: “Aren’t we a tad ill mannered, which will change in time” she replied, letting go of my hand.

Mary: “Stop taunting the child’ she said simply, pushing me behind her. Nora turned to stare at her and my champion, Mary stared her down. But Mary would not be there to save me from subsequent attacks. Mary would be evicted from the house in a fashion almost like my mother’s.

Question: What do you notice about this first Episode? 

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Anenih to publish autobiography, chronicles events of June 12

23 years after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, believed to have been won by the then Social Democratic Party (SDP), the national chairman of the party at the time, Chief Tony Anenih, has opened up on how the bid by the political class, to reclaim the now infamous June 12 mandate was thwarted by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

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In his autobiography, entitled: “My Life and Nigerian Politics,” billed for public presentation at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, tomorrow (Saturday), Anenih’s narrative, delivered in lucid prose, captures the various political events and developments, that culminated in how Chief M.K.O. Abiola, won the presidential election.

It also captures how the outcome of the election was annulled midway, by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida and how the Interim National Government (ING), set up with Chief Ernest Shonekan as head, to conduct another presidential election, was overthrown by Abacha.

The book, which chronicles the life and times of the author, most especially, the political odysseys that have defined his persona, will, according to the planning committee of the event, be presented to the public, by the former Minister of Defence, Lieutenant-General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (retd), on a low-key occasion that will be chaired by former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

According to the committee, the book presentation would be preceded by a thanksgiving service, at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro Cathedral Catholic Church, Garki, Area 3, Abuja, under the Superintendence of John Cardinal Onayekan.

The book would be on sale after the unveiling by General Danjuma, while the committee urged members of the public and the political class to grab copies, in order to update themselves on the story of political intrigues at the highest level, as told by one of the unique players.